Cry Freedom is a 1987 drama film produced & directed by Richard Attenborough (A Bridge Too Far, Magic, Chaplin, & Gandhi). It was written by John Briley (Children of the Damned, Enigma, Gandhi, & Christopher Columbus: The Discovery). It was nominated for 3 Oscars & 3 Golden Globes in 1988. It had a budget of $29 million & it only grossed $5.9 million at the box office worldwide. Following a news story depicting the demolition of a slum in South Africa, liberal journalist Donald Woods (played by: Kevin Kline from A Fish Called Wanda, The Big Chill, Silverado, & The Last of Robin Hood) does his own investigation to look into the situation. He meets up with activist Steve Biko (played by: Denzel Washington from Training Day, The Equalizer 1/2, Remember the Titans, & He Got Game) who is the head of “Black Consciousness”.
He’s just trying to fight for his people & make everything fair. Biko has been officially banned by the South African government. Woods & Biko slowly become friends after understanding their point of views with this mess. Biko is arrested & interrogated by South African security forces after standing up to them. Woods tries to get help from Jimmy Kruger (played by: John Thaw from The Sweeney franchise, Redcap, Inspector Morse, & Chaplin), the South African Minister of Justice in his house in Pretoria. Woods starts to get harassed by the same people & Biko’s life is now in danger! The government is threaten by these brave & unlikely friends trying to achieve the same goal. Both men try everything that can to fight this corruption, will it be enough????
Cry Freedom was one of the most hyped films during it’s release & it got nominated for multiple big awards. For some reason, the movie flopped at the box office & it didn’t win anything. To this day, it’s damn near forgotten & almost never brought up when it comes to cinema. It’s a strong subject & this film can be a little depressing due to some of the situations in it. As far as political dramas go, this one is highly under-rated & way better than you would expect. The script was top notch, you really felt for these characters & it makes you remember how messed up society was back then. Oscar winners Kevin Kline & Denzel Washington give probably their most under-appreciated turns in their career in this with their powerful performances. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s discuss the high definition presentation from Umbrella Entertainment! This 1080p (2:35:1) transfer is a major improvement over the old VHS & DVD home video releases from the past. This is the best it’s ever looked. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is also a step above from the past releases. The dialogue is crystal clear & the music sounds great here. There’s no subtitles or extras on the disc. It says Region B on the blu ray but it’s actually an all region release. Cry Freedom’s last release in the U.S. was the DVD in 1999 so it’s time import this huge upgrade from Umbrella Entertainment ASAP, CHECK IT OUT!!!!