Term Paper: Cry Freedom (1989)

By | April 28, 2011

Sample Term Paper

Attenborough’s second biography depicts the story about black leader Steve Biko, played by Academy Award winner Denzel Washington. Steve Biko was a revolutionary leader in South Africa who founded the Black Consciousness Movement in 1969 while he was studying medicine. He eventually gives up medicine to continue the struggle for his people in a Martin Luther King-esque fashion and became the voice of the black people in the later decades of the 20th century.

While Biko was the sole representative of the blacks in the country, Attenborough pays close attention to his accomplices who made the movement possible. One such accomplice was the white journalist Donald Woods whose objective press representation stemmed from his loyalty towards Biko brought the movement into the limelight garnishing support throughout the country. As a result, Biko and Woods became victims of oppression. Biko was arrested and detained where he suffered brain injuries that led to his death. Woods, having learnt of Biko’s death had to flee to Lesotho in disguise to avoid a similar fate (Attenborough, Cry Freedom).

Attenborough’s attempt at inciting fame at the hands of the masses for the real heroes attains marginal success as it concentrates on both the efforts of Biko as well as Woods. While many criticize how the film was inclined towards the efforts of the white Woods more than Bike, critics fail to acknowledge the input of the actual Woods which went towards the production of the script. Biko was given ample screen time and his successful attempts to incite revolt amongst the young blacks were fully depicted in the school children uprising in Soweto, in order to bring the efforts of both contenders into the spotlight while Woods, being alive at the time of the shooting was able to provide a relatively thorough account of his own efforts which were then transcribed into the script.

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