Cry Freedom Book Essay

Cry Freedom was a movie that took place in South Africa in the 1970’s. It is a movie about a journalist, Donald Woods, and a black activist, Steve Biko. While Woods was around Biko reporting what was happening, Biko invited Woods to go see one of the impoverished black township so he could see where black people in South Africa lived. When they arrived, Woods was shocked. The black people of South Africa were living in terribly poor conditions due to the government imposed restrictions on their lives. Woods realizes how wrong the government is by putting these restrictions in place and begins to agree with Biko and his beliefs.

Biko was a very outspoken activist for the rights of the black people in South Africa. The government had already banned him from leaving King William’s Town, his hometown, due to his past efforts for the cause. Latter on in the movie, Biko ends up getting arrested after a political speech which is outside of the area in which Biko is supposed to stay banned to. After being arrested, Biko is beaten to death. Since Woods had been reporting on the story, him and Biko had become good friends. After the death of his friend, Woods decided to work to expose the government’s part in the beating of Biko. After meeting with the South African Minister of Justice, Woods is banned by the government just as Biko was when the movie began. After being banned, Woods and his family are targeted and harassed by the government. Woods manages to escape the country of Lesotho disguised as a priest and the rest of his family joins him latter on. Woods escapes to Botswana with the help of an Australian journalist.

Cry Freedom really shows us the issues of South Africa from the past. Black people from South Africa were severely discriminated against and were forced to live in terrible conditions. These terrible conditions were forced upon the black community by the government. This was the time of the apartheid system, so the government was the cause of much of the discrimination of the black people of South Africa. The movie really shows us the true face of the government. We see how the government was behind the terrible things that happened to black people during that time. Not only did the government support this discrimination, but it also went as far as killing black people who were trying to speak out for their rights, just as they did to Biko. Cry Freedom shows us how horrible the government actually was in South Africa during the apartheid.

Cry Freedom
Steve Bantu Biko was born December 18th 1946 and died September 12th 1977. He was an apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s till 1970s. He did founded the Black Consciousness Movement, which would empower much of the urban black population. And he became famous for his slogan “black is beautiful”, the meaning of it was that you should be happy as you are and begin to look upon yourself as a human being. Steve Biko wanted to be a doctor and ergo is the reason why he studied at a medical school. He was only 30 when he died. The reason of his death is because he was tortured by the police through 24 days, and then died at a police station in Pretoria. In his short life, he managed to get married and got two children. A year after his death, some of his writings were released under the title “I write what I like”.

About 15 years after his death, the movie “Cry Freedom” was released and is based on the story of South African activist Steve Bantu Biko and “Asking for trouble”, books by Donald Woods. The movie shapes itself around the friendship between Donald Woods, a white liberal journalist, and Steve Biko, the intellectual who expands Donald’s horizons. The first half of the movie is about the concentrating on Steve’s career, but the other half concerns Donald’s escape from South Africa. An hour or so into the movie, Steve Biko dies and it falls into a story about how a white South African (Donald Woods) newspaper editor flees from the South African police to publish the truth. Before Steve Biko dies, the brave newspaper editor, Donald Woods attacks Steve Biko as a “black racist”, but regrets his views after a personal meeting with him. Then Donald wants to take on the cause against apartheid to promote Steve’s view among the white and black populations of South Africa. But then Donald was banned by the South African police. And then he flees from the South African police to publish his story about how Steve Biko was murdered in prison.

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