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Cry Freedom Movie

Movie Review for Cry Freedom


This 80’s movie, which is set in South Africa, chronicles a friendship between two people with different lifestyles and views. What started off as an investigation into the life of black activist Steve Biko, newspaper chief editor Donald Woods instead makes a friend for life. He later flees the country after Biko’s death in order to tell his story.

Cry Freedom DVD


The topic of apartheid and the struggles black activist Steve Biko endures to prevent it are captured on film in Cry Freedom. The film stars Denzel Washington, who plays an impressive Biko, who befriends newspaper chief editor, Donald Woods (played by Kevin Kline).

Cry Freedom is set in the 1970s in South Africa and follows the story of Woods and his wife, Wendy (played by Penelope Wilton), as they become friends with Biko before he is murdered by Government troops.

In Cry Freedom, the truth about Biko and what he stood for in life and death must be told, and Woods and his family leave town in order to spread the word about the anti-apartheid activist.


Donald Woods - Kevin Kline
Steve Biko - Denzel Washington
Dr Ramphele - Josette Simon
Tenjy - Wabei Siyolwe
Mapetla - John Matshikiza
Ntsiki Biko - Juanita Waterman
Nurst at Clinic - Evelyn Sithole
Nurse at Clinic - Xoliswa Sithole
Young Boy - James Coine
Ken - Kevin McNally
Alec - Albert Ndinda
Sub-Editor - Andrew Whaley
Woods’s receptionist - Shelly Borkum
Wendy Woods - Penelope Wilton
Jane Woods - Kate Hardie


It was Denzel Washington’s impressive role as a doctor on TV's St Elsewhere that caught the attention of Cry Freedom director Richard Attenborough. As a result, he cast him as Biko in the movie.

Cry Freedom is a long film, so it was shown in two 80-minute parts at the movie theaters and shown in two parts a week apart on television.

Academy Awards:

Denzel Washington won for Best Actor In A Supporting Role for the role of Steve Biko in Cry Freedom.

George Fenton, Jonas Gwangwa won for Best Original Score for Cry Freedom.

80's Film Facts:

The Movie Cry Freedom was released to theatres on 11/06/1987 by Universal, and grossed $5,899,797 at the box office in the US.

More 80's Cinema:

Hello Again

Running Man, The

Last Emperor, The (1987)


Three Men and a Baby

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Empire of the Sun

Wall Street

All 80s Movies


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