The Color of Freedom

( 1 )

Overview

Bille August's inspirational docudrama Goodbye Bafana begins in 1968, with South Africa buried neck-deep in the horrors of apartheid and Nelson Mandela Dennis Haysbert -- then an underground leader of the African National Congress -- imprisoned on Robben Island for sedition. As the story opens, the native African population of the country -- 25 million in number -- buckles beneath the crippling weight of the racist white minority, who control the Nationalist Party Government. The film follows the spiritual and ...
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Overview

Bille August's inspirational docudrama Goodbye Bafana begins in 1968, with South Africa buried neck-deep in the horrors of apartheid and Nelson Mandela Dennis Haysbert -- then an underground leader of the African National Congress -- imprisoned on Robben Island for sedition. As the story opens, the native African population of the country -- 25 million in number -- buckles beneath the crippling weight of the racist white minority, who control the Nationalist Party Government. The film follows the spiritual and psychological journey of James Gregory Joseph Fiennes, a Caucasian Afrikaner who came of age on a farm in the Transkei and initially views all blacks as subhuman. Gregory also speaks Mandela's native language of Xhosa with perfect fluency, which makes him an ideal candidate to serve as warden of the Robben Island Prison and eavesdrop on Mandela and his inmates. What he fails to anticipate is the most unlikely and special of friendships one of history's greatest that burgeons between himself and Mandela -- and helps him evolve from a narrow-minded bigot with limited self-awareness to a sensitive, humane critic of social injustice with a heightened awareness of humankind's ill treatment of one another and a genuine love for his fellow man. As the friendship between Gregory and Mandela grows and matures, it symbolizes Africa's transition from the oppressiveness of apartheid to the freedom of multiracial democracy.
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Special Features

"Remembering Mandela" from academy award winning director Peter Davis (Hearts and Minds, Best Documentary, 1974); Theatrical trailer
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/20/2008
  • UPC: 014381495027
  • Original Release: 2007
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Enhanced
  • Time: 1:58:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 20,124

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joseph Fiennes James Gregory
Dennis Haysbert Nelson Mandela
Diane Kruger Gloria Gregory
Faith Ndukwana Winnie Mandela
Terry Pheto Zindzi Mandela
Lesley Mongezi Walter Sisulu
Zingi Mtuzula Raymond Mhlaba
Diane Kurger
Technical Credits
Bille August Director, Screenwriter
Dirk Bombey Sound/Sound Designer
Roberto Cipullo Co-producer
Jimmy De Brabant Executive Producer
Kwesi Dickson Co-producer, Executive Producer
Michael Dounaev Executive Producer
Robert Fraisse Cinematographer
Ilann Girard Producer
Tom Hannam Production Designer
Billy Hopkins Casting
Greg Latter Screenwriter
Moonyeenn Lee Casting
Stephen Margolis Co-producer, Executive Producer
Dario Marianelli Score Composer
Kami Naghdi Executive Producer
Gherardo Pagliei Co-producer
Paul Schnee Casting
Herve Schneid Editor
Andro Steinborn Producer
Jean-Luc Vandamme Producer
David Wicht Co-producer
Nelson Mandela Inspiration
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Color of Freedom
1. Main Menu, June 1968 [8:27]
2. In Charge Of a Terrorist [3:59]
3. Six Months Later [4:15]
4. Going Fishing [2:28]
5. Letters From Home [1:50]
6. God's Way [4:37]
7. The Telegram [10:02]
8. Freedom Charter [10:01]
9. Conflict Of Interests [22:44]
10. April 1982 [6:04]
11. A Place In History [2:15]
12. Touch Of Hope [8:42]
13. December 1988 [6:54]
14. Invisible Wounds [7:38]
15. Sleeping Into Freedom [7:24]
16. End Credits [5:47]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Color of Freedom
   Feature Start
   Scene Selections
   Set-Up
      Dolby Digital 5.1
      Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
      Spanish Subtitles
      English Subtitles For the Deaf and Hearing-Impaired: Off
   Special Features
      Theatrical Trailer
      Featurette: Remembering Mandela
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Friendship Defined

    While many books and films about South Africa's Apartheid have attempted to convey the tension and the eventual dissolution of that sociopolitical scheme, few histories bring us as close to the core of the schism as does Bille August's excellent film THE COLOR OF FREEDOM. Based on the book GOODBYE BAFANA by James Gregory (with Bob Graham) the story details the relationship between Nelson Mandela and prison warden James Gregory during Mandela's long imprisonment on Robben Island off the coast of South Africa, and the gradual friendship that occurred between these disparate men. Studying this development of a friendship provides an opportunity to better understand the concept of Apartheid and of the evils of racism in general. Nelson Mandela (Dennis Haysbert) was convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment on the desolate Robben Island for his non-violent attempts to end racism in South Africa, attempts that eventually resulted in work stoppages and resistance movements that moved the articulate, well-educated lawyer Mandela into the realm of activism. While on Robben Island he was guarded by one James Gregory (Joseph Fiennes), a pro- apartheid, cruel prison employee who was assigned to Mandela as a spy and censor because of Gregory's knowledge of the local language Xhosa (learned from his childhood when his best friend was a black boy named Bafana). Gregory lives on the island with this wife (Diane Kruger) and children and his commitment to his family provides a stark contrast to his hatred of his black 'Kaffir' prisoners: his involvement with the pro-apartheid status is strengthened by his direct communication with Intelligence in the cities of South Africa where his censored information from the prisoners leads to definitive capture and 'disposal' of the blacks. On a trip ashore Gregory and his wife and children witness first hand the beatings and cruelties of the whites against the blacks and Gregory returns to his duties on Robben Island with a gradually changing point of view for the model prisoner Mandela. They begin communicating in Xhosa and Gregory allows Mandela's wife Winnie (Faith Ndukwana) to spend more committed time with her husband on her restricted visits to Robben island. One particular misstep - Gregory passes Mandela's Christmas gift of a piece of chocolate to Winnie - threatens Gregory's status on the island, while at the same time bonding Mandela and Gregory like brothers. Gregory's life and philosophy have been changed by Mandela's powerful personality and spirit and his eventual release from prison into the new, freed South Africa has been aided in a small but meaningful way by Gregory - a reflection of Gregory's childhood bond with his friend Bafana. August captures the tension and the atmosphere of South Africa in this visually stunning film. Fiennes is superb as James Gregory as is Diane Kruger as his wife. Dennis Haysbert conveys the spiritual essence of Mandela despite the fact that his physical appearance is not at all like the Mandela known so well from the still constant photographs of the diminutive freedom fighter we see frequently. But the film does convey the tenor of the changing times during the 27-year confinement of Nelson Mandela. The featurettes on the DVD offer lengthy history lessons about the real events referenced in the film and add immeasurably to the film's overall success. There is much to learn from this film in addition to the fact that it is a solid work of cinematic artistry. Grady Harp

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