Friday, August 17, 2012

47. In my country (2004) *

A South African Story of Truth, Love and Reconciliation 



How does a country deal with mass atrocity?  How does it transition from military dictatorships or apartheid to a democracy?  How do victims receive justice for the crimes committed by regimes of terror?  In South Africa, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up so that victims could tell their stories and that the perpetrators could ask for forgiveness in return for amnesty.  Perpetrators had to fully disclose their crimes which had to be committed under superior orders and for a political motive.  

In my country, gives the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings the Hollywood treatment. Starring an international cast including, Samuel L Jackson (as Langston Hughes the Washington Post reporter), Juliette Binoche (as Anna Malan, an Afrikans poet), and Brenden Gleeson (as De Jager, a perpetrator) the film was directed by Englishman, John Boorman.  Adapted from the book of the same name by Antjie Krog, the movie is based on some of the stories of the 21,800 victims who testified during the hearings.  

Using the relationship between Hughes and Langston as a vehicle to explore different aspects of the trials and the idea of 'truth' following their affair, the movie provides outsiders with an introduction to Ubuntu, the hearings and some of the horrendous crimes perpetrated during apartheid.  

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