A World Apart

Synopsis: A White enclave in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the 1960s. Molly Roth, 13 years old, is the daughter of leftist parents, and she must piece together what's happening around her when her father disappears one night, barely evading arrest, and, not long after, her mother is detained by the authorities. Some of Molly's White friends turn against her, and her family's friendships with Blacks take on new meaning. Relationships are fragile in the world of apartheid. How will she manage?
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Chris Menges
Production: Media Home Entertainment
  Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 6 wins & 11 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
113 min


- Molly, I have to go.

- Where are you going?

Some place.

- When will you be coming back?

- I don't know.

Few weeks, maybe a month.

- Are you going out of the country?

- Molly, enough.

It's my work.

You know I can't talk about it.

You'll hear from me. I promise.

I love you very much.

Be cheerful, my honey.


- Wish me luck.

- Yes, good luck.

Your sixth position, don't forget.

See you next week. Thank you, girls.

Molly, Yvonne, come.

There's my mom. Come on.

- Come on.

- I'm going to my mother's office.

- Get in, I'll drop you there.

-It's okay. It's only around the corner.

You can't walk on your own.

Come on, get in.

Stop it, Yvonne. You make him crazy.

Don't move him! Call an ambulance.

- Why don't we take him?

- No, I don't want to get involved.

- Hello, Molly.

- Hello.

- Hello, Mom.

- Hello, darling.

- Hello, Molly. How's school?

- Okay, thank you.

Fiona, ready.

"Thousands of Africans

are being kidnapped...

"shanghaied away from their towns

and their families...

"to do enforced labor on the farms."

Full stop.

"South Africa will not have farm workers

with a love and knowledge of the land...

"until they are ensured of a living wage...

"education, and above all...

"the freedom to enjoy the fullness of life."

Full stop.

New paragraph.

"The farm-labor scandal brings to the fore...

"the worst features of the apartheid

cheap-labor state...

"and gives them a new

and more hideous form."

That's it. Leave three columns

for the picture. Bye.

Mom, can we go now?

In a minute. I won't be long.

The South African government today...

announced the first arrests

under the 90-Day Detention Act.

The act confers power

on the security forces...

to detain people without trial

for up to 90 days for interrogation...

and follows in the wake

of the increased underground activity...

by the banned African National Congress.

Opponents of the government fear that

the new law will provide further freedom...

to the Security Police to imprison

and harass people who oppose apartheid.

Under an agreement

between Washington and Moscow...

That's it.

Molly, let's go.

Can you drop them off

at the house this afternoon?

Oh, Jesus Christ, Diana.

No, I promised the kids.

Marge has made arrangements.

You promised that report days ago.

Now I have to work on it over the weekend.

- Yeah?

- Don't make me feel bad about this, Harold.

See you later, Saeeda.

You promised we'd get the lace today.

Darling, I may have done,

but there's no time.

I'll drop you off at the store

and meet you at the hairdresser.

Mom, I need you to help me.

The competition's on Tuesday.

Then you'll have to wait.

I'll treat you to a hairdo. How about that?

Mom, there was an accident

on the corner of Anderson Street today.

It was a Black man,

a Black man on a bicycle.

Damn, I've left something behind. Here.

I'll meet you at the car.

I went to the hairdresser. Do you like it?

All right, Molly.

- Granny, guess what?

- What?

We've got a letter from Daddy.

Thank you, Milius.

There are some things in the back.

What did Daddy have to say in his letter?

"...by the swimming pool.

-"Molly, good luck."

- Kept all the lovely tarts for Gran.

"Jude, those were excellent exam marks."

The dustbins were in the way.

Why do you always keep them in that place?

I've got some biscuits

and some oranges in the car.

You brought us a sack last week.

You know we have oranges on the tree.

Hello, darling. That looks nice.

- Hello, darling.

- Hello, Nana.

You shouldn't hang about with wet hair,

Molly, you'll get pneumonia.

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Shawn Slovo

Shawn Slovo (born 1950) is a screenwriter, best known for the film A World Apart, based on her childhood in South Africa under apartheid. She is the daughter of South African Communist Party leaders Joe Slovo and Ruth First. She wrote the screenplay for the 2006 film Catch a Fire (also a historical film about apartheid), and for the 2001 film Captain Corelli's Mandolin.In the late 1970s she served as Robert De Niro's personal assistant while he made the films Raging Bull and The King of Comedy. She also made the screenplay for Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight. Slovo currently lives in London and often works for Working Title Films. Her sister Gillian Slovo is also a writer and her sister Robyn Slovo is a producer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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