Synopsis: A woman's journey. In a Zulu village, Yesterday is a cheerful mother with an inquisitive five-year-old child, Beauty. Yesterday has a persistent cough, and after several attempts to see the doctor at a regional clinic, she gets a diagnosis. She goes immediately to Jo'burg, where her husband is a miner. Then she must deal with consequences. Her singular motivation is to see that Beauty enrolls in school the next fall. The film begins and ends with Yesterday walking on a road.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Darrell Roodt
Production: HBO Films
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations.
90 min

- Mamma?

- Yes, my child?

Why am I not a bird?

- A bird?

- Yes, a bird.

What do you mean, my daughter?

Why can't I fly like a bird?

Because you are not a bird.

Because you are you.

What if I was a bird?

You're not a bird.

But if I was a bird...

if you were a bird, we could fly...

and be there quickly

and not have to walk so far.

Well, you are not a bird, my daughter.

Yes. But why?

Beauty, you ask too many questions.


- How are you?

- I'm fine.

We are looking for the village of Rooihoek.

I am from that village. It's that way.

How far is it?

Not too far. But not close, either.

We have been traveling for about two hours.

- Two hours?

- Yes.

Is there a school there?

A school?

We are teachers.

In search of a school where we can teach.

We have been looking for a long time.

How long?

Two years. And a bit.

Two years? That is a long time.

Do they need teachers in your village?

I don't know. You shall have to ask.

Thank you.

If it is as far as you say,

then we best be going.

Go well.


- Is this the queue to see the doctor?

- Yes.

Thank you.

Where are you from?

- Rooihoek.

- Rooihoek?

That is far.

Yes, it is far.

Have you been waiting long?

Since 7:
00 this morning.

- So early?

- Yes.

But there are still so many to go.

Yes. It is better to come early.

Will the doctor see us today?

The doctor will only be able to see people...

up to here.

The rest of you will have to go home...

and come back next week.

I told you. It is best to come early.

Before the sun.

You see...

we've waited a long time.

We've been here for so long.

Mamma, when is Daddy

coming home again?

Only next month, my child, on the 25th.

- Is that a lot of days?

- Yes, that's a lot of days.

Do you think he will buy a motor car?

- A motor car?

- Yes, a motor car.

Motor cars cost a lot of money.

How much is a motor car?

A lot.

How much is a lot?

A lot lot.

Anyway, I thought you wanted to be a bird?

I know, but a motor car would be fine.

Have you heard? Kunene's widow

got four numbers in the lotto.

- Four?

- Yes.

She paid a visit to the sangoma

who told her to play number seven.

She did and it worked.

It was one of the four numbers.

How much did she win?

One hundred and twenty rands.

Is that all?

I thought you won a lot of money

if you got four numbers.

It has to be all six.

She only got four.

How much do you get for six numbers?

A million rand!

Sometimes two million.

- A million rand?

- Yes.

For six numbers?

Imagine, such a lot of money.

What would you do if you won a million?

I don't play.

Yes, but if you did?

I don't know.

Turn Beauty into a bird.

What do you mean?

Nothing. Goodbye.

What did the doctor say?

I did not see him.

But you went to the clinic?

Yes, but it was full.

I have to go back next Tuesday.

Perhaps you will be feeling better by then.




Have you heard about Kunene's widow?

Four numbers! I've heard.

- Mamma?

- Yes, my child?

Where does the river go?

What do you mean?

Where does it start and where does it end?

It starts in the mountains...

and ends in the sea. I think.

In the sea! It goes all the way to the sea?

I think so.

How does the river flow...

between here and the sea?

Does it go up the mountain?

No. Water can't go up a mountain.

Only down.

So it won't reach the sea?

Not if there is a mountain in the way.

Then it won't reach the sea.

Now enough of all these questions!

There is still a lot to wash.

Pass me the board.

Be careful.

Don't look so frightened, my child.

It is only a cough.

We need to start planting before it gets dark.

Rate this script:3.0 / 1 vote

Darrell Roodt

Darrell James Roodt (born in Johannesburg, April 28, 1962) is a South African film director, screenwriter and producer. He is probably most well known for his 1992 film Sarafina! which starred actress Whoopi Goldberg. Also regarded as South Africa's most prolific film director, Roodt has worked with the late Patrick Swayze in Father Hood, James Earl Jones in Cry, the Beloved Country and Ice Cube in Dangerous Grounds. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Yesterday" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 5 Jun 2023. <>.

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