Cry Freedom

Synopsis: Donald Woods is chief editor of the liberal newspaper Daily Dispatch in South Africa. He has written several editorials critical of the views of Steve Biko. But after having met him for the first time, he changes his opinion. They meet several times, and this means that Woods and his family get attention from the security police. When Steve Biko dies in police custody, he writes a book about Biko. The only way to get it published is for Woods himself to illegally escape the country.
Production: MCA Universal Home Video
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 12 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
157 min

They think they do.

- So this is it?

- Yes, this is it.

A clinic for black people,

staffed by black people,

run by a black doctor.

Was this her idea or yours?

Come on,

let me show you around.

It was a collective idea,

but we were lucky to have her.

And a white liberal doctor doing the same

thing wouldn't serve your purpose?

When I was a student, trying to qualify

for the jobs you people will let us have,...

...I suddenly realised it wasn't

just good jobs that were white.

The only history we read was made by

the white man, written by the white man.

Televisions, cars, medicines,

all invented by the white man.

Even football.

Now, in a world like that,

it's not hard to believe there's something

inferior about being born black.

We grow most of our own food here,

for the patients and some of the staff.

- And the church?

- Oh, that was here long before us.

But I began to think

this idea of inferiority

was an even bigger problem for us than

what the Afrikaners were doing to us.

That the black man had to believe he

had as much capacity to be a doctor,

a leader, as a white man.

So we tried to set this place up.

My own mistake was to put some

of those ideas down on paper.

And the government banned you.

And the fighting liberal editor

started attacking me.

I attacked you

for being racist.

- How old are you, Mr. Woods?

- 41, if that makes any difference.


A white South African,

41 years old, a newspaper man.

Have you ever spent any

time in a black township?

- I've been to many...

- No, don't be embarrassed.

Except for the police, I don't think

one white South African in 10,000 has.

You see,

we know how you live.

We cut your lawns, we cook

your food, clean your rubbish.

How would you like

to see how we live?

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John Briley

John Richard Briley is an American writer best known for screenplays of biographical films. He won the Academy Award For Best Original Screenplay at the 1982 Oscars for Gandhi. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Cry Freedom" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Mar. 2021. <>.

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