Cry, The Beloved Country

It’s been too many years since I’ve seen Zoltan Korda’s celebrated 1951 film with Sidney Poitier and Canada Lee for me to offer a detailed comparison of that adaptation of the Alan Paton novel with this new version. Set in South Africa in the 1940s, the film deals with the crisis of a black pastor (James Earl Jones) whose estranged son has killed the son of a wealthy white landowner (Richard Harris). Directed by Darrell Roodt from a screenplay by Ron Harwood, this has a strong sense of dignity about its characters, and Jones and Harris are both effective. Whether it deserves to replace the Korda version is another matter. With Dambisa Kente, Eric Miyeni, and Vusi Kunene. (JR)

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