THIS INSPIRATIONAL AND EMOTIONALLY-CHARGED film about Nelson Mandela
(touchingly played by Golden Globe Winner Dennis Haysbert, 24) and the impact
he has not only on a nation's freedom, but also on the life of Robben
Island prison guard James Gregory (Joseph Fiennes, Shakespeare in Love, Enemy
At The Gates), is an extraordinary true story of courage and honour in the face
of violence and prejudice.
"South Africa, 1968. Twenty million Blacks are ruled by a minority of
four million Whites under the brutal Apartheid regime. Blacks have no vote,
no land rights, no freedom of movement or equitable opportunity to housing,
employment or education. Determined to retain power, the government bans all
opposition organisations, forcing their leaders into exile or imprisoning them,
some for life, on Robben Island." from the opening shots of BAFTA-nominated
Director Bille August's fantastic Goodbye Bafana.
Against a vivid backdrop of the beautiful South African country, Bille August
directs the story with empathy with the credible lead characters; highlighting
the injustices and frustrations of the times.
A white Afrikana in a country divided by race, Gregory falls under he spell
of the dignified and charismatic Mandela creating difficulties for himself
that rebound on his relationship with his wife Gloria (Diane Kruger, Troy).
The two men gradually develop a deep and secret bond a bond that forces
Gregory to confront his own racist past but that also empowers him to help Mandela
on his journey to free South Africa of Apartheid with its discrimination and
Modern history unfolds before us as the film moves on through Greg-ory's take
on the appalling treatment of the prisoners and, in particular, his reaction
to Nelson Mandela. The change in the way Gregory begins to think is perfectly
demonstrated by his remarks to his children early in the film and his reaction
to violence against a black mother and baby and also by the indifferent
way he behaves towards Winnie Mandela (Faith Noukwana) when he first meets her
and how his attitude to her softens.
The scenes between James Gregory and Nelson Mandela have a com-pelling intensity
in this great film, with Fiennes and Haysbert relating to their parts with a
rare understanding. Through flashbacks we are given a vision of the past and
how it connects on a personal level with the characters.
Mandela's fight for fair treatment, liberty and equality is one of South Africa's
legacies and Goodbye Bafana brings home to the viewer some-thing of the
sense of the hopelessness and anger that must have pre-vailed among the black
The screenplay was imaginatively written by Greg Latter, based on the book Goodbye
Bafana, written by James Gregory himself and Bob Graham.
Jean-Luc van Damme, Ilann Girard and Andro
Steinborn present, in association with Thema Productions, Goodbye Bafana
with a running time of 113 minutes. With a special feature, The Making of Goodbye
Bafana, the DVD was released on 15 October (2007) and has a recommended price