Watch Cry, the Beloved Country
- 1 hr 43 min
Cry, the Beloved Country from 1951 is a powerful and poignant drama that explores the themes of racial injustice, poverty, and hope in South Africa. The film is based on the 1948 novel of the same name by Alan Paton, and was directed by Zoltan Korda. The movie tells the story of Stephen Kumalo, a black minister who lives in the impoverished village of Ndotsheni in Natal. Stephen receives a letter from Johannesburg informing him that his sister, Gertrude, is sick and his son, Absalom, has been charged with murdering a white man. Stricken with grief and concern for his family, Stephen leaves his village and travels to Johannesburg to find them.
In Johannesburg, Stephen finds his sister in a state of despair and learns that his son has fallen in with bad company and is facing a trial that could see him sentenced to death. Charles Carson delivers a stunning performance as James Jarvis, the wealthy and deeply conservative white farmer whose son was murdered by Absalom. In contrast to the black Kumalo, Jarvis is an emblem of the old South Africa, clinging fiercely to his position of white privilege and his hatred of black people.
As the story unfolds, Stephen and Jarvis find common ground in their shared grief, and their bond becomes a symbol of hope for a better future. Sidney Poitier is magnificent as Absalom, the lost son caught in a web of poverty and despair. Canada Lee delivers a masterful performance as Stephen, capturing the complexities of a man who is at once compassionate, dignified, and deeply troubled by the injustices he sees around him.
The film's cinematography is breathtaking, capturing the beauty of South Africa's landscapes and the harsh realities of its society. From the lush green hills of Zululand to the grimy streets of Johannesburg, Cry, the Beloved Country offers a vivid portrait of a nation in crisis.
But the heart of the movie lies in its portrayal of the struggle for racial justice and equality. The film was made at a time when South Africa was still under apartheid, a brutal system of racial segregation and oppression. Cry, the Beloved Country was one of the first Hollywood movies to address the issue of apartheid, and it remains a powerful indictment of the evils of institutionalized racism.
Yet the movie is also suffused with a sense of hope and resilience. Despite the horrors of apartheid, the characters in Cry, the Beloved Country find reasons to believe in a better future. Whether it's through the love and compassion of family and friends, or the simple beauty of nature, each character finds something to hold onto in the face of adversity.
In the end, Cry, the Beloved Country is a moving and deeply human story that offers a glimpse into the struggles and triumphs of a nation in turmoil. With its superb performances, stunning visuals, and powerful message, the film remains a timeless classic that speaks to the universal longing for justice, equality, and hope.
Cry, the Beloved Country is a 1951 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 43 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9.