Cry Freedom

1987 | Docudrama | 157 minutes | English, Afrikaans, Zhosa,  Zulu, Sesotho with English subtitles



After a slum neighborhood in South Africa is demolished, journalist Donald Woods interviews Steve Biko, a black South African activist, about the incident.   Biko shows Woods the impoverished conditions blacks endure under the Apartheid government. As Woods begins to understand Biko’s anger, a friendship develops. While Woods investigates, Biko is arrested after speaking to a group of black residents outside the restricted region. Woods meets with South African Minister of Justice Jimmy Kruger asking him to intercede with police violations against Biko. After Biko is released from prison, he attends a student-run meeting in Cape Town. Again, he is arrested. This time, the treatment by police causes Biko’s death. Woods and his family travel to London where he reports  the complicity of the police in Biko’s death and the corrupt and racist nature of the South African government.
Denzel Washington (Steve Biko) / Kevin Kline (Donald Woods) / John Thaw (Jimmy Kruger)
Why Stream This Film?
Cry Freedom is a fantastic story how two men, one black the other white, could put their lives on the line for each other  in a government that brutally enforces Apartheid. 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 76%
  • Metacritic Score: 59
  • 75th Venice Film Festival, Winner, Golden Lion
  • Ten Academy Award Nominations. Winner: Best Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), Best Cinematographer (Alfonso Cuarón)
  • Festivals: Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York
  • Best Film of 2018: Time Magazine and The New York Film Critics Circle
Denzel Washington does a remarkable job of transforming himself into the articulate and mesmerizing black nationalist leader, Steve Biko, whose refusal to keep silent led to his death during police custody and the subsequent coverup.
Variety Staff

The performances are excellent, the crowd scenes astonishing, and the climax nerve-racking. An implacable work of authority and compassion, CRY FREEDOM is political cinema at its best.

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