Description of Film:
Darrell Roodt, who was born in South Africa
in 1963, directs this passionate musical film.
Sarafina shares the story of the struggle against
Apartheid (racism) faced by a group of particularly
courageous school children in South Africa.
During the 1976 State of Emergency, students
were being massacred by government troops. A
young Leleti Khumalo (Hotel Rwanda) takes on
the role of Sarafina, a young, ambitious, school
girl who is vehemently opposed to Apartheid
and willing to risk everything to fight it.
She is aided by her equally ambitious school
teacher, Mary Masembuku (Whoopi Goldberg, Sister
Act). After the children’s beloved teacher
is taken away by the South African authorities
and Sarafina‘s future boyfriend is slaughtered
during a protest, the children rise up and take
action. Sarafina must make a choice to fight
with violence against the government or resist
with peace. Sarafina’s choice leads to
her imprisonment, torture, and a narrow escape
from death. It the end, she realizes the cost
of equality and the price paid by her hero,
Nelson Mandella, when he fought for the people
of South Africa.
Sarafina originally was written for theater,
where it earned a Tony award. This screen play
is written by Mbongeni Ngema.
This movie is rated PG-13 for graphic violence
questionable for children.
Why I Recommend This Film:
This film is unforgettable and powerfully
charged. It makes you gape at how young racism
can affect and steal lives. The music helps
bring a needed calm or balance to the action-filled,
and tragically victorious plot. The dancing
is superb and the way the African melodies ring
out is truly amazing. The film is of a very
high quality. I love how well the actors portray
such gripping emotions and themes.
Why This Film is Important:
Sarafina lets viewers see that racism
is never bound by culture, language, or even
continents. It is an evil that spans the globe.
It also triggers a thought-provoking, startling,
and important question: What happens when one
voice has the courage to stand up against thousands,
and is joined by another, and another, and another?
This film inspires you to stand up for what
is right. Maybe you are all it takes to make
“Freedom is coming…Tommorow! Get ready…prepare
for your freedom.” (This lyric is
from the song “Freedom is Coming.”
This song is performed during the funeral service
and provides an uplifting moment during a bleak