In My Country

John Boorman directs a potent, moving, liberal-minded docudrama about South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation hearings of the mid-90s, adapted by Ann Peacock from Antjie Krog’s novel Country of My Skull. The plot focuses on two journalists, an Afrikaner poet (Juliette Binoche) who firmly believes in the South African concept of ubuntu (collective unity) and a Washington Post reporter (Samuel L. Jackson) who’s a lot more skeptical, seeing the hearings chiefly as a way for guilty whites to be pardoned for their crimes. Though the opposition between these characters as well as their growing rapport may seem somewhat diagrammatic at times, the story as a whole is sufficiently nuanced to develop in unforeseeable directions, and Boorman gets the most out of the material. R, 104 min. Esquire.

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