Cry Freedom (1987) - full transcript

Donald Woods is chief editor of the liberal newspaper Daily Dispatch in South Africa. He has written several editorials critical of the views of Steve Biko. But after having met him for the first time, he changes his opinion. They meet several times, and this means that Woods and his family get attention from the security police. When Steve Biko dies in police custody, he writes a book about Biko. The only way to get it published is for Woods himself to illegally escape the country.



- Subtitle -
Completely fixed: titler

What is it?
What is it?


This is the English-language
service of Radio South Africa.

Here is the news,
read by Magnus Randall.

Police raided Crossroads, the illegal
township near Cape Town this morning,

after warning the squatters to vacate
the area in the interests of public health.

Several people were found
without work permits,

and many are being sent back
to their respective homelands.

There was no resistance to
the raid and many illegals

voluntarily presented
themselves to the police.

- I think you ought to have a look at him.
- Give me his chart.

Were you listening
to the radio?

If they'd caught him,
we'd have heard.

If the police had got Steve, especially with
the posters in the car and everything,... don't think that...?
Is that mine, Sister?

You don't think that'd
be the first news item?

No, because if the people
know they have him,

then they have to be more careful
about how they treat him.

- They think he's here.
- I must get back.

Let's have some coffee.

If the police in Cape Town had taken him,
that lot would be the first to know.

I think he's hiding.

He was with Peter Jones,
and Peter has no pass problem.

If Steve was arrested,
Peter would have phoned me.

Pass the milk.

Finished, Mr. Woods?

Yes, thanks.

- How'd you get these?
- Ah, we have ways.

- Do we dare to print them?
- For these I'll risk it.

- Yes, sir?
- Would you ask Tony to come in?

- I'll even give you a by-line.
- You're a prince.

They put me away, yours'll be the first
name on my lips. What about Mr. Biko?

Shall I use his name in the story?
His picture was everywhere.

- Think there was a meeting?
- There must have been one recently.

Biko couldn't have been
there of course, but,

one of his people, mouthing off
about black consciousness,...

- ... that I'd say was almost a certainty.
- Uh, I've rejigged it just a bit.

No, leave him out of it.
I want the police blamed for that raid.

- I'll take care of Biko in an editorial.
- Yeah, yeah. Ok.

One bunch of lunatics saying
white supremacy justifies anything,

all we need is some black nutcase saying
black supremacy's going to save the world.

I would like to know who's
responsible for this.

- May I ask who you are?
- Doctor Ramphele.

Doctor Ramphele.

I'll leave you.

I've read this paper long enough to
know you're not one of the worst,

so, it's all the more baffling,

that you would try to pass this
vicious fiction off as reasoned fact.

- Ah, well, Doctor...
- Ramphele.


I've stuck my neck out on this paper to
take a stand against white prejudice.

But if you think that
means I'll go soft,

on some sensationalist
pushing black prejudice,

well, you've brought your
complaint to the wrong man.

Black prejudice?

That's not what
Steve's about at all.

Your Mr. Biko is building a wall of
black hatred in South Africa,...

...and I will fight him as
long as I sit in this chair.

What you do in that chair
is put words in his mouth.

And you know he can't answer
because he's banned.

- I believe I know what Mr. Biko is about.
- Well, you believe wrong!

And he can't come to you.

If you were the honest newsman you
claim to be, you ought to go and see him.


Where are you from?

From South Africa.

But I was one of two,

to be granted a scholarship
to Natal Medical School.

I'm a...

...a token of your white
paternalistic concern,

for the natives of this land.

Well, I'm glad we didn't
waste our money.

I know you're not a fool,
Mr. Woods...

But you are uninformed.

Steve Biko is one of the few people
who can still save South Africa.

He's in King William's
Town right now.

That's his banning area.

- Good morning.
- Good morning.


- Mr. Donald Woods?
- Yes, I'm Donald Woods.

I'm Steve's wife. Please, come in.
He's expecting you.

Thank you.

But we're glad
you could come.

Father Russell got this for us.

You see, we're trying to make
a kind of community centre,

where black people can meet,
maybe have classes.

- The new dyes have arrived at last.
- Good, tell Tsinki.

- This way.
- Who's this one?

Oh, he's just a little
rascal like his father,

and even more trouble.

You'll find him out there.

Steve Biko?

- Are you Steve Biko?
- I am.

I would have met you
in the church, but,

as you know, I can only be
with one person at a time.

You see, if a third person comes
into the room, even to bring coffee,

that breaks the ban.

And the system, the police,
are just across the road.

But, of course, you would
approve of my banning.

No, I think your ideas are dangerous,
but, no, I don't approve of banning.

A true liberal.

It's not a title
I'm ashamed of,

though I know you regard
it with some contempt.

I just think that
a white liberal,...

...who clings to all the advantages
of his white world; jobs,

housing, education...
Mercedes... perhaps not best qualified to tell
blacks how they should react to apartheid.

I wonder what sort of liberal
you'd make, Mr. Biko,

if you were the one who had the job,
the house and the Mercedes,

and the whites
lived in townships.

It's a charming idea.

It was good of you
to come, Mr. Woods.

I've wanted to meet
you for a long time.

They follow you everywhere?

They think they do.

- So this is it?
- Yes, this is it.

A clinic for black people,

staffed by black people,
run by a black doctor.

Was this her idea or yours?

Come on,
let me show you around.

It was a collective idea,
but we were lucky to have her.

And a white liberal doctor doing the same
thing wouldn't serve your purpose?

When I was a student, trying to qualify
for the jobs you people will let us have,...

...I suddenly realised it wasn't
just good jobs that were white.

The only history we read was made by
the white man, written by the white man.

Televisions, cars, medicines,
all invented by the white man.

Even football.
Now, in a world like that,

it's not hard to believe there's something
inferior about being born black.

We grow most of our own food here,
for the patients and some of the staff.

- And the church?
- Oh, that was here long before us.

But I began to think
this idea of inferiority

was an even bigger problem for us than
what the Afrikaners were doing to us.

That the black man had to believe he
had as much capacity to be a doctor,

a leader, as a white man.
So we tried to set this place up.

My own mistake was to put some
of those ideas down on paper.

And the government banned you.

And the fighting liberal editor
started attacking me.

I attacked you
for being racist.

- How old are you, Mr. Woods?
- 41, if that makes any difference.


A white South African,
41 years old, a newspaper man.

Have you ever spent any
time in a black township?

- I've been to many...
- No, don't be embarrassed.

Except for the police, I don't think
one white South African in 10,000 has.

You see,
we know how you live.

We cut your lawns, we cook
your food, clean your rubbish.

How would you like
to see how we live?

The 90% of your countrymen who have to
get off your streets at 6 o'clock at night?

- Jane!
- Yes, Mum?

- Put the strawberries in the fridge.
- Ok, then I'll come down.

All right, dear.

What time did you get back?
I'd given up on you.

Half an hour ago.
I've already had a swim.

Mummy, Mummy,
look what Alice gave me!

Oh, isn't that nice?
And what did you give her?

- Nothing.
- You terrible girl.

- Well?
- You were right.

What was he like?

- They've built a damn clinic up there.
- Dillon!

She's the doctor. You should see it.
People come from miles.

How did they raise the money?

Some local money from the community,
a lot of church money from overseas,

and even the
mining companies.

South African
mining companies?

Yes. Apparently, someone important heard
him make a speech that impressed him.

- Thanks, Evalina.
- He is impressive.


He hasn't talked you
into black consciousness?

No. But I have agreed to let him take me
to a black township. He'll educate me.

He's banned. How could
he take you anywhere?

I'm not sure.

- You really think this is worth the risk?
- The education of a white liberal?

If you get caught out of
your banning area, well...

All he might have to do is write
a letter to his board of directors.

I don't want them
to get you in a jail.

You tell David he promised
to finish that table today.

- I won't get caught.
- He gets no tea till he does.

I need some money
from the cash box.

No, you won't get caught, if some
paid informer doesn't run to the police.

It's in the drawer.
It's open.

We'll make a working man
of you yet, Steve Biko.

How do you want to do this?

Ask Thabo to come over.
I'll turn on the desk light.

Mapetla will occupy the
system for a few minutes,

I'll slip out,
Thabo will sit in my seat.

I'm glad I wasn't
your mother.

Now look, look, I was born
in a tribal homeland.

my dad had a store there.

I'm not half as uncomfortable
as you think.

As a liberal, if you had your way, you'd
be riding buses and taxis, just like us.

You tell me my days of white privilege are
numbered, so I'll enjoy them while I can.

Run, son, run.

It's a miracle a child
survives here at all.

Most of the women who have work
permits are domestic maids,... they only get to see their kids
for a couple of hours on Sundays.

The place is full of drunks,

...people so desperate for anything they'll
beat a kid bloody if he had five rand.

Was that kid you,
a few years ago?

Maybe more scared.

But if you do run
fast enough,...

...if you do survive, you grow up
in these streets, these houses.

Your parents try,
but in the end,

you only get the education
the white man will give you.

Then you go to the city
to work, or to shop,...

...and you see their streets,
their cars, their houses,

and you begin to feel there is something
not quite right about yourself,...

...about your humanity.

Something to do
with your blackness.

Because no matter how dumb or smart
a white child is, he's born into that world.

But you, the black child?

Smart or dumb,
you're born into this.

And smart or dumb,
you'll die in it.

I thought that most shebeen
queens were informers.

Yeah, they are. If they weren't, the police
would close down this place just like that.

But you see, it's only some things they
inform on. Others, they don't bother.

Anyway, we're ok here.
This one's wild about Steve.

You see, he has that
way with women.

He's very articulate.
Where did he get his education?

He's never been inarticulate,...

...but his father died, and when he was
17 he was taken into a mission school.

You know,...

...most of these guys, they're living
in a bed out there on their own.

No work permit,
no residence permit.

A man and wife who can't find
work in the same white town,

are not allowed to live together
in the same black township.

You split up black families,... that for thousands
of husbands and wives,

if they see each other
once a year, they're lucky.

You keep saying "you". You're talking
about the Afrikaner government.

Don't blame all the
whites for apartheid.

How many live-in maids
do you have, Mr. Woods?

- One, but she doesn't...
- Don't pick on him.

He's here to have a good time.
Come on, drink up. Cheers.

Look, I'm not defending what's been done,
but he's the one who's against liberals.

We're trying to move
towards integration.

Of course. You want to give
us a slightly better education,

so that we can get
slightly better jobs.

- At first maybe, but...
- I won't be forced into your society.

I'm going to be me as I am, and you
can beat me, or jail me, or even kill me,...

...but I am not going to be
what you want me to be.

The best you want for us is to
be allowed to sit at your table,...

using your silver and your china,
and if we can learn to use it like you do,

then you will
kindly let us stay.

We want to wipe the
whole table clean.

It's an African table,
and we will sit at it in our own right.

You must remember,

before you arrived we
had our own culture.

We had many villages, small.

You know our language,
Mr. Woods.

The word we use for nephew
is "my brother's son".

Tenjy calls my wife,
not aunt,

but "mother's sister".

We've no separate words
for members of the family.

All begin with
"brother" and "sister".

We took care of each other.

We got a lot of things right,
which your society never solved.

You did have tribal wars
in this land of yours.

Well, what do you call
World War I and World War II?

You use words very cleverly, but there's
something about it that scares me.

Of course there is, because in your
world anything white is normal.

The way the world
is supposed to be.

And your real genius,

is that for years you've managed
to convince most of us of that too.

Could you ask Tony to come in?

Ken, this is Tenjy Mtinsto
and Mapetla Mohapi.

They're from King William's Town.

- Yes, sir?
- Could you come in?

I'm glad to say that yesterday the board
approved their appointments to the staff.

Brief them on our copy rules.

- Can you take them upstairs to see Bob?
- Will you come this way?

Tell him to give them their
assignments for tomorrow.

I want you to teach them
how to use our cameras.

I... where...
where are they going to work?

In the newsroom.

Does this Biko practise
black magic as well?

I'm not sure, but I think
this is worth a try.

They'll cover the real black news.
Things we've never reported.

It's not illegal,
and it'll bring new readers.

The white readership
will be delighted.

And when they start ranting on
about black consciousness... Shit!

Yeah. Just remember my blue pencil
still determines what goes in this paper.

Yes, of course it does.
Yes, boss.

- Ken.
- Yeah?

You like football, don't you?

And sure...
sure as hell,...

...he's paying people to stir
up trouble between us.

Because when we fight
amongst ourselves, he can say;

"See? They aren't fit
to run their own lives!"

Then he can go on
telling us where to live,

and how to live.

He can pay us nothing,

and pass his laws without
listening to one word we say.

And, remember,
they killed

over 400 black
students last year.

We've got to
stick together.

As one people, we have to
make the white man know

that his free ride on the
back of black labour

is over, finished.

Now... now we've got
a surprise for you.

He's a little modest...

...but you listen to
what he has to say.

Listen, people.

This is the biggest illegal
gathering I've ever seen.

I heard what the last speaker
had to say... and I agree.

We are going to
change South Africa.

All we've got to decide is
the best way to do that.

And as angry as we
have the right to be,...

...let us remember...

that we are in this
struggle to kill the idea...

...that one kind of man is
superior to another kind of man.

And killing that idea is not
dependent on the white man.

We must stop looking to
him to give us something.

We have to fill the black community
with our own pride.

We have to teach our
children black history,...

...tell them about our black heroes,
our black culture,... they don't face the white
man believing they are inferior.

Then... we'll stand up to him
any way he chooses.

Conflict if he likes,
but with an open hand too,... say that we can all build
a South Africa worth living in.

A South Africa for equals...
black or white.

A South Africa as beautiful
as this land is,... beautiful as we are.

That's the one who
made the speech.

Sit down.

You know I don't advocate
violence, De Wet,...

...but don't make the mistake of
treating me without respect.

Don't tell me
what to do, Kaffir.

Out of your banning area?
Talking to a crowd?

You won't be a witness
at that trial.

You'll be up there on the
stand with your friends.

Inciting racial hatred.

On whose words?
Hm? What's his name?

Captain De Wet, you are not going
to send me to a Pretoria court...

...on the evidence of a paid informer
in a cardboard box, are you?

Everyone knows those kind would say
whatever you wanted them to say.

You're a bit of poison, Biko, and
I'm going to see you're put away.

Not on that kind of testimony,
you won't.


No, men.

He has to appear as a
witness for the defence.

We don't want it to look like
anything happened to him.

You're lucky, Biko.

I just expect to be treated
like you expect to be treated.

You and your
big-headed ideas.

If you're afraid of ideas,
you'd better quit now.

We'll never quit.

Come on!
What are you so afraid of?

Once you try, you'll see
there's nothing to fear.

We're just as weak
and human as you are.

We're going to catch
you red-handed one day,

then we'll see how
human you are.

I quote:

"I believe South Africa's a country in which
black and white should live together. "

Those are your words.
What does it mean?

It means that I, and those
gentlemen in the dock,...

...believe that South Africa
is a plural society,...

...with contributions to be made by
all segments of the community.


Are you familiar with the
language in the documents

the accused have discussed
with black groups?

- Yes, since some of those documents
were drawn up by me. - The one;

"Noting with concern and disgust the
naked terrorism of the government"?

- That is correct.
- You say "naked terrorism".

Do you honestly think
that is a valid statement?

I think it is a far more valid statement
than the charges against these men here.

- Really? - Yes, really.
I'm not talking about words.

I'm talking about
the violence in which,

people are baton-charged
by police, beaten up.

I'm talking about police
firing on unarmed people.

I'm talking about the indirect violence
you get through starvation.

I'm talking about the hopelessness,
the desolation of the transit camps.

Now, I think that,
all put together,

that constitutes more terrorism than
the words these men have spoken here.

But they stand charged,...

...and white society
is not charged.

When you and others in
black consciousness speak,

you say;

"Our true leaders have been banned
and imprisoned on Robben Island. "

Who are you referring
to specifically?

I specifically would refer to
people like Mandela, Sobukive,

to people like Govan Mbeki.

And is it not true that the common
factor with these people,

is that they have advocated
violence against the government?

The common factor
with these people

is that they have selflessly pushed
forward the struggle of the black man.

So, your answer to this so-called
"naked terrorism"... to provoke violence
in the black community?

No, our movement
seeks to avoid violence.

But your own words call
for direct confrontation!

That's right.
We demand confrontation.

Isn't that a demand
for violence?

Well, you and I are now
in confrontation, but I see no violence.

But nowhere in
these documents... you say that the white
government is doing anything good.

It does so little good, my lord,
that it is not worth commenting on.

But, surely that approach...

...inflames racial hatred
and anti-whiteism?

My lord, blacks are not unaware
of the hardships they endure,...

...or what the government
is doing to them.

We want them to stop
accepting these hardships... confront them.

People must not just give
in to the hardships of life.

They must find a way,
even in this environment, to... develop hope.

Hope for themselves,...

...hope for this country.

Now, I think that is what black
consciousness is all about.

Now, without any reference
to the white man,... try and build up
a sense of our own...


...our legitimate
place in the world.

Rip the telephone out.

Go and help them finish off.

This will show the bastards.

Lord, it's warm.

Donald, go to Kruger.

He says he'll fight police illegality.
We'll take him up on it.

Kruger? He'd probably
give them a medal.

Mamphela, whatever his prejudices, he
won't condone this sort of thing publicly.

Oh, won't he? I'll bet you
he'll find an excuse for it.

You're positive it was
Captain De Wet?

- You're positive it was Captain
De Wet? - Yes, I am.

Where's Steve?

He went to the clinic to draw
off the security police.

He didn't want anyone
seeing Dilima talking to you.

Donald, fly to Pretoria.

The local police will only
laugh at you here.

Ah, Mr. Woods.
You found your way.

Good morning, sir.

The minister of police, and I walk right
into your grounds, not a soul in sight.

Uh, perhaps not in sight,
but if you weren't expected...

Come in, come in. I'm just
having a drink. Will you join me?

- Yes, thank you. What are you having?
- I'm on a whisky myself.

That'll be fine. I want to thank you
for seeing me at the weekend.

Ach, it's nothing, man.

I always like to help
the press if I can.

Now, what is it you wanted
to see me about? Cheers.


Sit down.

Thank you. It's a matter
concerning Steve Biko.

Biko? My God, man,
I know all about Steve Biko.

Minister, I don't understand
why he's banned.

You need a black
leader you can talk to.

Look... I don't need to tell you this
country has a special kind of problem.

Shit, man, do you think I like banning
and detaining people without trial?

I'm a lawyer.
It goes against the grain.

Come. Come, I want to show
you something, Mr. Woods.

We Afrikaners
came here in 1652.

200 years before there was
any such thing as a camera.

And yet look at this.
The trek across the wilderness.

The homesteading.

The concentration camps the English
put our families in during the Boer War.

The working of the land.

The building of the cities.

And any Afrikaner family could
show you the same thing.

We didn't colonise this country,
Mr. Woods, we built it.

Grandfather Johannes,
a formidable drinker.

Do you think we're
going to give that all up?

That's what Mr. Biko wants.

This is a black country, he says.

...what's here was
built as much by

Afrikaner blood and
toil as by the blacks,...

...who came to us
for work, remember.

We didn't force
anyone to labour.

They had very little alternative,
since you'd taken over most of the land.

Wouldn't you say their cheap labour had
an effect on the success of our economy?

I know what you're saying. Don't think
I don't understand their argument. I do.

We know there has to be a way to
work together and live together,

and we're trying to find one. Maybe
a little too slow to suit some of them.

But it's no use your Mr. Biko filling
them with false expectations.

We're not just going to roll
over and give all this away.

Listen, trust me.
Let's sit in the shade.

I know a lot more about Mr. Biko
than you do, Mr. Woods.

Is that what you wanted
to see me about?

- Well, no. Actually, it's...
- But if that's your recommendation,...

...if you think it's worth it,
I'll certainly consider meeting him.

- How's your drink?
- I'm fine. I really think you should.

I know you'll find him more moderate
and more intelligent than you believe.

But what I've come about is an incident
that occurred at a community centre,

Biko was trying
to put together.

The place was smashed
up the other night.

Yes, I know about that.
My police are investigating it.

Your police are the
ones who did it.

What makes you say that?

An eyewitness saw
a security-police captain,

and some of his men
smashing the place up.

Will he testify?

He's afraid to.

But I felt it would be more effective
if you took some action internally.

You've always stated you were
against any illegality by your officers.

My God, I am.

I appreciate your attitude,
Mr. Woods.

I assure you this is
something I'll pursue.

I want no thugs in
my department.

Don't be surprised.

Ach, we're not really the monsters
we're sometimes made out to be.

It's all right, Evalina,
I'll get it.

Get back, Charlie.

- Mr. Donald Woods?
- Charlie.

I'm Donald Woods.

You made a complaint
to the minister of police.

It's all right.

- Come on, Charlie.
- That's prompt. I saw him yesterday.

You had a witness
to the alleged crime?

That's right. I explained to Mr. Kruger that
I couldn't name him, but there definitely...

You reported a crime, Mr. Woods, and the
law states you must name the witness.

- No, you don't understand.
- You must name the witness,

or you will go to
prison until you do.

That is the law.

I don't want to go back to Mr. Kruger
and report that two...

You report to
whoever you like.

Our orders, Mr. Woods,
come from the very top.


I didn't say Mr. Kruger.

I said from the top.

Next time he sends you,
you'd better have a warrant.

- The law is on our side.
- Yes, well, justice is on mine.

We'll see how we
make out in court.

And tell Mr. Kruger he must come
to my house for a whisky one day.


- Stay still. - Stay in the
middle and we'll cover you.

No, it's ok. It's ok, boys.
It's ok.

You're a dirty player, Biko.

I was taught by
a Catholic priest.

What do you expect?

- Are you alone?
- Yes.

- Who told you I was here?
- Your wife.

She didn't tell me where
the police thought you were.

Well, we planted a phone call saying
I was going to spend the afternoon,

going over the books
at the clinic.

Got my summons today.

They're actually
going to prosecute.

Six months for withholding
the name of a witness.

I think they want to
break up our friendship.

A few months in jail might
be just what you need... prove your credibility
as a budding activist.

Yeah, well, I got my old law professor,
Harold Levy, to defend me.

- He's the best.
- You want one?

Oh, yeah, thanks. But I'm not going to
name Dilima, whatever happens.

- But Kruger obviously means business.
- They always mean business against us.

Some day we'll be the damn
system in this country.

A lot of us are going
to die for nothing...

...if our system turns us into nothing
but black versions of theirs.

I could accept that.

A bent policeman is a
bent policeman, Soga.

He breaks the same heads
for the same reasons.

To substitute a black
one for a white one,...'s not worth the
price of one child.

Never mind the six months
in jail for Mr. Woods.

- Are you sure this is the right house?
- Yes, it is.

We have reason to believe you are in
possession of subversive documents.

We have orders to
search these premises.

Do you have a warrant?


Well, bring it to the window
over there and I'll read it.


Put Mapetla's
article with them.


Could you hold it up, please?

Just turn the page, please.

Could you read a little faster?

Well, it appears to be in order, but you
won't find any such papers in my house.

We'll see.

All right, as soon as my wife is
properly dressed, I'll let you in.

In there.

Let's go.

I told you you wouldn't
find anything.

We'll be back.

I think we should
rescue them now.

- Dadu.
- Dadu.

Finally the prosecution finished,...

...and the whole courtroom thought
that I was as good as in jail.

Does that mean that you're
going to prison, Dad?

You'd like that,
wouldn't you?

No, you see, then Uncle Harold
began his cross-examination.

He began by pointing out that the wording
of the charge itself was not proper,...

...that the dates were
all inaccurate,...

...that the precedents they'd cited
applied to totally different situations.

Quiet, Charlie.

We're here to check your pass.
Just leave your door open.

Donald! Donald,
they're after Evalina.

Donald, it's the police.
They're after Evalina.

- Donald, what are you doing?
- Jane, go up to Mary.

Yeah, right, Dad.


- What the hell are you doing here?
- We want to see her passbook.

- It's all right, master.
- At this time of night?

That's when they have
their boyfriends in.

You're talking to a
married woman, and I...

Master, I'll find it.

- We've asked this Bantu female...
- Woman! Bastard.

She's a woman,
not a Bantu female.

We can question Bantu any time.
It's our job.

There may be an
illegal male in there.

You're on my property.

Ach... you think you're a big editor
who can get away with anything.

I think I'm a man who's found
two intruders in his back yard.


Kom, Kobus.
We'll see about this.

Go on, piss off.

- You all right?
- Yes, master. Thank you.

Sipo can bring the children
here whenever you want.

Yes, master.

You're mad, Donald Woods.

I'm also shaking like a leaf.

- Get your own strawberry.
- If I got strawberry,

then you wouldn't be able
to taste my chocolate.

I was just being considerate,
you know?

You have a little of mine
and I'll have a little of yours.

What's the matter?

Ken, be careful!

They may just beat him up to try
and scare him off the paper,...

...but it's more pressure
they're putting on.

I'm afraid they'll use him as an
example so that no other black...

- God, what the hell are you doing?
- I want to know about Mapetla. Hi.

- Coming into a white area?
- This is my country. I go where I like.

- He's heard about Mapetla.
- Oh, yes. Did you drive yourself here?

No, no.
Peter's driving.

I put Harold Levy on it,
but they wouldn't tell him anything.

Sit down.

All being well, I'm going to
Cape Town in a couple of days.

When I come through I'll drop off what
I want to write about the arrest. Thanks.

Maybe you'll publish it?

- Cape Town, Steve...
- You must be out of your mind.

Well, it's a...

it's a meeting of black students there.
An important one.

And before they take a stand I want
them to hear what I have to say.

Right, we'll print the news
of Tenjy's arrest.

We'll put it on the front page.

What's up, boss?

Mapetla's dead.

They claim he hanged
himself in his cell.

I'm going to remake
the front page.

- Donald Woods.
- Hello, Donald.

A piece of news.

The day before Mapetla died,...

...the police showed another
prisoner a puppet of Mapetla...

...hanging from a string.


Steve, I don't know
what to say.

Just say that some day
justice will be done.

And let's hope it will not
be visited on the innocent.

You shouldn't
go to Cape Town.

It's too dangerous.

It's a dangerous country.

Keys and papers, eh.

I can't get the bloody
thing open.

- What you got in there?
- Nothing.

- What's wrong?
- I think they got something in here.



What's your name, Kaffir?

- It's there in the book.
- Say it!

Say your name!

Bantu Stephen Biko.

18TH AUGUST 1977


I think...

I think he should
see a specialist.

Could he be shamming?

The extensor plantar reflex...

...indicates a possible
lesion on the brain.

- Could he be shamming?
- You can't sham a reflex, sir.

And the lumbar puncture
that Doctor Hersch took...

...revealed an excess of red
blood cells in the spinal fluid.

Well, that also points to...

Well, it's a possible sign
of serious brain damage.

Has he eaten, Sergeant?

Gone to the toilet?

No, not today.

He must be seen
by a specialist.

We'll take him to the police
hospital in Pretoria.

But that's 700 miles.

He might escape from the hospital here.
I want him in a police hospital.

Open up.

Go by way of Seymour.

If you take breaks, one man stays
with Biko all the time. Goodbye.



So Biko's death
leaves me cold!

He died after a hunger strike!

Mr. Chairman!

Mr. Chairman!

Mr. Chairman, I commend the
minister for being so democratic,

that he gives prisoners the democratic
right to starve themselves.

I suppose one feels
sorry for any death.

I suppose I would feel sorry
about my own death.

How did you get permission?

I didn't. If I asked, it would tip them off,
and they might move him.

I've checked the law.
I don't think they'll dare stop us.

But this is a special case.
There's been no inquest yet.

- I'm afraid there's no possibility...
- Not special at all.

The law is quite clear.

The next of kin have a right
to see the deceased.

Now, Mr. Biko's death has caused
enough uproar in the press already,...

...but if you'd like to create another issue
for the front page, I'll be happy to comply.



What have they done to you?

We must hurry, Ntsiki,
before he notifies the police.

Don't let them frighten you,
Mr. Woods.

All right.

From every angle.

His whole body.

You and Wendy will come
to the funeral, won't you?

Well, would his
other friends...

Would we be welcome?

Yes, Donald.

You and Wendy are
our brother and sister.

We are here to mourn one
of the great men of Africa.


I love Steve Biko, but I hate
the system that killed him.

Even today, the day
of Steve Biko's funeral,

in their white arrogance,
they have turned back thousands

who sought to come here simply
to pay their respect to him.

But we are here!

I hate the system...

...but I welcome all South Africans
who join with us today... mourning the man
who gave us all faith

in the kind of country
South Africa could be.

The kind of country
South Africa will be...

...when all men are judged
as human beings,

as equal members
of God's family.

And towards this day...

...when the isolation
that creates hostility...

...becomes the closeness that
permits friendship and love,...

...let us all join in
the song of Africa...

...that Steve Biko
cherished as we do.

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika

uphondo lwayo

Yizwa imithandazo yethu

Nkosi sikelela

Nkosi sikelela

Do you understand
the words?

Yes, it's a...

"God bless Africa.
Raise up her name. "

"Hear our prayers,
and bless us. "

Nkosi Sikelela

Thina lusapho lwayo

Morena boloka
setjhaba sa heso

O fedise dintwa
la matshwenyeho

Morena boloka
setjhaba sa heso

O fedise dintwa
la matshwenyeho

O se boloke

O se boloke

O se boloke

O se boloke

Setjhaba sa heso

Setjhaba sa Afrika

Setjhaba sa Afrika


The fact is that Biko had
gone on a hunger strike.

We tried to feed him by intravenous drip,
with a tube in his arm.

I don't know about these things.
I'm not a doctor.

That was the minister of police,
Mr. Kruger, speaking from his home.

Yes, hello.

Is that you, Donald?

All right, you traitor.
You black-loving bitch.

We know you're alone.
We're coming to get you.

Mum, I can't sleep.

Was that Dad?


More threats.


They're the only ones
we know are doing it.

When Daddy gets back
from Johannesburg,

we ought to put a tape-recording
machine on the telephone,

and then print what
they say in the paper.

There'd have to be a lot
of blanks and dashes.

Well, I'm going downstairs
to make some coffee.

No, don't go.

Mum, what is it?

- Mum, shall we call someone?
- You just stay up here.

Believe me, 30 years in the police force
you know one when you see one.

- Tell Donald...
- Uncle Don, here's another one.

They're all from a .32.

One of us will stay here until he gets
back. I'll prove my ex-colleagues did this.

- What good will that do?
- None.

But it'll make me feel better
that they know we know.

Look, Mum, one went right
through your window.

Dead right. They're mad enough about
the speeches you're making here.

You should read the Afrikaans
press in Cape Town.

You stir up trouble overseas and they'll
come down on you like a ton of bricks.

Donald, you know my opinion.
I think it's madness.

And even if they do let you out,
take my word for it,

they'll arrest you the minute
you get back. I would've done.

Look, here or there, we're going
to force them to have an inquest.

They can't arrest me there, but a lecture
tour in the States will stir up pressure.

If you were a lawyer, you know, getting
support for the law, that's one thing.

But you're going to talk about Biko. I'm
telling you, they won't stop at niceties.

Kruger lied.

If we expose it, they're going to
have to admit how Steve really died.

I'm going.

If one of you will stay with Wendy
and the kids, I'm not worried.

In fact, the more publicity I get,
the safer I'll be.


I'll phone you when
I get there.

Calling Dr Steiner, travelling to Paris,
to the first-class counter, please.

- Donald Woods?
- That's right.

We're from security police.
Would you come with us, please?

This is the final call for
passengers travelling on BA...

Don't worry about that.
You won't be on the flight.

- But my cases are.
- We've taken them off.

You, Donald James Woods,...

...are declared a banned person,
in terms of the Internal Security Act.

Henceforth, and for
a period of five years,

you are forbidden to associate with
more than one person at a time.

or be in a room with more
than one person at a time,...

...except for the members
of your immediate family.

You are forbidden to write anything,
whether privately or for publication.

You are forbidden to enter any printing
or publishing premises of any kind.

And are restricted
for that five years,

to the magisterial district
of East London.

Kruger's really gone crazy.

You reckon you know what
happened to Steve Biko, eh?

I saw his body.

And those pictures
you've confiscated,...

...14 sets have already been
released to the world press.

Arresting and banning me
is a stupid thing to do.

Now the minister of police has guaranteed
a world spotlight on the Biko inquest.

I have two small children, Mr. Woods,
and I think about the future.

So tell me,
what would you do?

I have children too.

But the days of a few whites
running a black country are over.

It's going to change... partnership or bloodshed.

For your white children and mine,
I hope it's in partnership.

With the likes of Biko?

God, I hope with
the likes of Biko.

I'd have met you in the church,
but as you know,

I can only be with
one person at a time.

And the system, the police,
are just across the road.

You're playing with fire.
You know the house is bugged.

One slip of the tongue,
a surprise raid, and then...

What you've written
about Steve is treason.

If I get caught smuggling it out,
we'd both get what Nelson Mandela got,

or what... you know... you know,
what happened to Steve.

- And no one would ever know.
- So you think I've done it all for nothing?

Well, what I think is that you should
destroy what you've written, now,...

...or get yourself out of South
Africa with that manuscript.

Not just for, well...
but for their sakes too.

Leave here?

In actual fact,... or the other.

What do you mean,
we've got to leave?

Bruce contacted a
publisher in England.

They want my book.

Father Kani is right.

When it comes out,
the government will see it as treason.

We can't stay.

I don't believe this.

Because you want
a book published,...'re going to rip the
kids from their schools,...

...their grandparents,
their whole life?

Don't you even bother to
find out what I'd like to do?

We may hate the bastards that run
this country, but this is still our home.

What do you want to do?

Just accept Steve's death? Accept what the
government's doing and will go on doing?

What more do you want to do?
You forced the inquest. You're banned!

Are you so grand you think you
can change them all on your own?

I'll do what I can. I certainly won't sit in
that house for five years and do nothing!

And to hell with us?
What do we do? Where do we go?

Donald, we've got five children.
We couldn't take a penny out of here.

I know you.

You're willing to tear our lives apart just
to see Donald Woods on a book cover.

And you're using Steve's
death as an excuse.

Bloody hell!

- Jane, can I go in again?
- Mary, go and get dry.

Can we talk about this?

I'm sorry I was so cruel.

No, you were right.

I want a book published.

I do.

But if Steve...

...if Steve died for nothing,...

...if we let them
just bury his name...

Who do you think you are?

No, there's just no other writer who knows
Steve's story like I do. It's just a fact.

There are seven of us.

you're 43 years old.

What will one book do?

And do you think they're
going to let us walk out?

We could get killed trying to escape, and
still you wouldn't get your book printed.

Come on, the kids will
be worried about us.

I'm not God,...

...but we know what
this country is like now.

And we can't accept it and we can't
wait for God to come and change it.

We have to do what we can.
And this book is what I can do.

- Morning.
- Thanks. It's for us!

Mummy, Daddy, it's a present.

- Can we open it?
- If it's addressed to you.

- Thanks.
- What's all this noise?

Dad, it's got a picture of Steve.

- What is it? A T-shirt?
- Here, Mary.

I bet it fits.


- Is there a return address?
- No, Dad.

- He's becoming a legend.
- Mummy! Daddy!

What is it?
What is it?

My eyes!

Call Doctor James, quick.

my hands are itching.

- It's all right. It's all right.
- What's happening? What is it?

- Some kind of burn. I don't know.
- Get it off! Get it off. Get the dress off!

- My hands are burning!
- Duncan, go upstairs and rinse them.

Duncan, go upstairs
and rinse them!

Did you hear what
Evalina said? Now, go!

That was Don on the phone.

He says he has proof beyond doubt that
the security police sent those T-shirts.

How could they
do this to her?

I think that book
should be published.

- Bruce!
- God! You scared the shit out of me.

I was expecting
you the other way.

If I go out that way,
they know where I am and who I'm with.

- Good thinking.
- Well, they didn't see me.

You oughta report 'em
for neglect of duty.

You're cheerful. I take it
you've got some good news.

Yeah, it's out of date,
but we doctored that.

It wouldn't get you out of Jo'burg,
but up in the sticks it ought to work.

Father David C. Curren?

- How did you get it?
- Father Kani lifted it.

He felt sure Father Curren would agree,
but for safety's sake, he'd explain later.

Black hair,
but apart from that,

if the light wasn't too good,
I suppose it could work.

You're sure those buggers
aren't behind us?

- Yeah, it's all right.
- Good.

This looks like a logical
place to get lost.

Let's look at the map.

Flying you out to
Botswana is out.

- But we have to. How else...?
- We can't, Donald, we tried.

We can't get a plane with the amount
of fuel needed without tipping our hand.

So, we're gonna take you
out via Lesotho instead,...

...and New Year's Eve is the best time,
everybody drunk as a skunk.

You turn yourself into Father Curren
and get up here, north of Queenstown.

Kani will drive you towards
Saint Theresa's Mission.

Now, that's a bunch of
nuns on the border,

so two priests, you see,
it's perfect.

And once there, Kani says
the border's only a river.

You can wade across
it at a dozen places.

- I'm a priest wading across the border?
- You do it at night.

And once you're across,
I'll be here to drive you to Maseru,...

...before the police
know what's going on.

And from there, you can
all fly out to Botswana.

The airline is run by a Canadian, with
a couple of New Zealanders as pilots.

If I get out, my one regret will be giving
you the biggest scoop of your life.

Pig's ass! I've had bigger
scoops on an ice-cream cone.

Why do I have to go so far north
before I meet Father Kani?

Well, it's thought that arms are
coming through on those roads.

Don't worry about them.

So any car registered out of the
district is automatically checked.

He's going up there
to get a local car.

He's a helluva bloke, Kani.
For a black guy to do what he's doing...

Believe me,
I know the risk he's taking.

I don't see how I'm going to get all the
way up past Queenstown. It's a long way.

You hitchhike, Father Curren,
you bloody hitchhike.

That way, if you do get caught, you won't
take Wendy and Kani down with you.

By five o'clock, New Year's Eve, all
the white police would be off for parties.

You hitchhike to the
rendezvous point.

It should be easy if you
don't leave too late.

What if someone phones me
and I'm not there? The whole plan...

In actual fact, New Year's Eve,
you've gone to bed quite drunk.

Nobody will question that.

The next morning,
Wendy drives off to the beach.

Only, she really goes to
her parents' in Umtata.

If you make it, you phone her
the minute you are in Lesotho

ten o'clock, or whatever
time you've arranged.

She takes the children north to the border
before they have time to pick her up.

If you don't make it,
and there's no phone call,

she turns right around and
goes straight back home,

so that she can't be accused
of being a party to it.

If I make it, they're going to
suspect your involvement.

Oh, probably...

...but as a man of the cloth,
it's proof they'll be missing.

In my case,
I think they'll want it.


- Do you think we can stay up tonight?
- Well, why don't you ask Mum?

Mary, come on.

Can we stay up for New Year's Eve?
We can get undressed first.

- Just wait and see. Get in the car.
- Come on, Charlie. In you go.

your ice cream's melting.

Charlie, don't lick me.

If you do get ready, I've rented a film
and cartoons. You can watch till midnight.

Mum, is Daddy going
to watch with us?

Well, I thought you might
like to ask Alan and Greg.

So Dad'll have to skip it.

But you know what he thinks
of your choice of movies.

But Daddy doesn't know
what good movies are.

I saw Alice and Larry
at the beach.

I must phone him. Maybe he'd come
over and play chess with me next week.

Did you pick up
the projector?

Oh, damn. The kids wanted ice-cream
cones, so I came home the other way.

We even talked about it.

I'll have to pick it up later.


Happy New Year.


Thank God they're
so predictable.

- Dammit, it's my turn.
- No, it's not!

No, no, no, Duncan. I keep telling you.
I keep telling you all. Now watch.

Watch this.
Gavin. Mary.

You bend the back low on the table,
your hand flat.

If they see you,
don't say one word.

Where's Evalina?
Is she in her room?


I sent her over the road to get hamburger
buns. She wasn't too pleased.

Well, if I've got to pick up that damn
projector, I might as well do it now.

Any chance of a lift?

No. I'm just dropping him and then
I'm going straight back into town.

No goodbyes, Father Curren.
Off you go. And take care of yourself.

Thank you for the ride,
Mrs. Woods.


- Don't forget to pick up the projector.
- The what?

- The projector.
- Oh, my God.

Thank God you reminded me.
I'd completely forgotten.

I'll see you soon, eh?

The military, the police...
Yes, of course I take risks. All the time.

But that is only unusual if you
think we're a land at peace.

You see, in a war, people take
great risks as a part of life.

Well... we're at war.

Hey, you want a ride?

Oh, thank you, sir.
But how far are you going?

- Near King William's Town.
- Thanks very much.

This side of King William's
Town is fine.

I'm going towards Queenstown.
I'll go as far as you're going.

Oh, don't mind him.
He just makes a lot of noise.

He doesn't do nothing.

9.25 PM. MASERU,

I tell you, Father, it's very hard
to see you in those dark clothes.

I couldn't tell what
you are at first.

Yeah, well, maybe I should
stand under a light next time.

Maybe you could let
me off in Stutterheim.

Yes, sir, as long as you ride with
me through King William's Town.

Those white kids will
be drunk tonight.

Maybe they give me trouble,

but with a white Father... Certainly, when
it is not New Year's Eve, it's a fine town.

I've met some good people
from King William's Town.

Yes... so have I.

The findings of the
court are as follows.

One, that the deceased,
Bantu Stephen Biko,...

...a black man, aged 30,
died on September 12th,

and the cause of death was brain
injury which led to renal failure.

Two, that on the
available evidence,

the death cannot be attributed
to any act or omission

amounting to a criminal offence
on the part of any person.

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho...
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.

Hey, hey! I'm a priest!
Get away from this truck. Get off!

Get off, you stupid bastard,
or I'll break your goddamn neck!

I suppose I'll have to say some
penance for that outburst.

Oh, yes, sir,
you're going to.

But you got me through
King William's Town,... I think God
must be with us.

One minute to go, so...

Oh, look at the
red balloons!

Mind the bubbles, Evalina.

Mum, can Daddy come down
and sit in the other room?

No, no, he can't. He's upstairs asleep,
where you should be in about 15 minutes.

Seven, six, five,
four, three, two,

Happy New Year!

There you are.

- Happy New Year, Evalina.
- Happy New Year.

- Happy New Year, Evalina.
- Happy New Year.

Should auld acquaintance
be forgot

And never
brought to mind

We'll drink a cup
of kindness yet



- In you go, Father.
- But why? I was just...

The locals told us you were
trying to get to Queenstown.

We're about to cover
that bit of road.

If we don't run into any trouble,
we can get you there in a couple of hours.

Well, great.
Bless you.

- You're going to the mission?
- Yes, that's right.

If it's not an emergency, I'd spend
the night in Queenstown, if I were you.

- Oh, I'm sure I can find a lift there.
- You might find black terrorists too.

- Here? In the Eastern Cape?
- Of course in the Eastern Cape.

Charlie, be quiet.

2.30 AM. MASERU, 250 MILES

Get in.
Move up, Father, will you?

You still want to go
past Queenstown?

Let's go.

But why do you use a phrase
like "black is beautiful"?

Because black is commonly
associated with negatives.

"The black market",...

..."the black sheep of the family".
Anything which is supposed to be bad.

Then why do you
use the word?

Why call yourselves black?

I mean, you people are
more brown than black.

Why do you call
yourselves white?

You people are more
pink than white.


- Sure you want out here?
- Yes, this is fine.

Thank you very much.

I expected you three hours ago.
Hurry up. Hurry up. Get in, man!

It will be light soon.

- In actual fact, it does change you.
- What's changed me is getting here.

When I wasn't shit-scared, I was
standing in the cold, waiting to be.

Well, come on!


- When do you have to make the call?
- Ten o'clock. If I'm late, she'll go back.

And you'll end up in jail for ten years if
you're seen with me, so get out of here.

Look, there's Lesotho.
I'll get across.

Easy! Easy!
Don't get me nervous.

Shit, the bag's split.

In actual fact, it's turned out
to be a balls-up, hasn't it?

We've done all right. There must be
somewhere I can cross. Get out of here.

When you get desperate,
go to one of us.

Use Steve's name.


If there is no more rain,
there'll be places to cross tonight.

I can't wait till tonight.
I've got to go now.

- How far is the Telle Bridge?
- Nine, ten miles.

- You cannot cross there.
- I have a false passport. Maybe I can.

Is there someone we can trust,
who's got a car?

I trust me,
and I have a car.

You, master editor,

Donald Woods, escaping.

He's escaped from the law!

The Boers will
shit themselves.

You're going to make it.
The Boers will shit themselves.

Kruger will shit himself.

Vorster will shit himself.

Botha will shit himself.

- Well, I got you here.
- Where's the border?

It's down there.

- This will help.
- Thanks.

You must not
lose one page.

Someday, when things have changed,
I'll come back. We'll have a beer together.

I'll wait for you.

It's locked.

- Yes. - It should be open.
It's seven o'clock.

- Well, not quite.
- Jesus.

Sorry, Father.

Oh, that's all right.

What are you doing
on foot, Father?

Well, a friend brought me here and
another's picking me up across the river.

I've got to get to Maseru
in time for ten o'clock Mass.

You'll be lucky. The rain's messed
up the roads over there very bad.

Put your bag in the cab.
I'll give you a ride across.

Thank you.
Very kind of you.

I'm Father Wo...

- My name's Moses.
- Moses?

Yes, of course.
It would be, wouldn't it?

- Say goodbye to Evalina.
- But why?

- To be polite.
- Goodbye, Evalina.

Be good. If I don't have that dog at
my heels all day, I may make a cake.

- Thanks.
- Gavin, I've told you...

- Why can't we take Charlie?
- Because I say so.

- So long, Evalina.
- Bye-bye.

- As the Americans say,
"Have a nice day". - Get out.

Get out.

If I do make a cake, I'm going to put
marzipan on it so you won't eat any of it.

- You ok, Mum?
- Yes, fine.

- What sandwiches have we got, Mummy?
- We've got cheese and tomato...

- Bye-bye, Evalina.
- Bye-bye.

See you when we get back.

Evalina, I can't find my bat.

- Have you looked behind
the television? - No.

Go and give Evalina a kiss.
And tell Dillon to open the garage door.

- Don't get sunburnt.
- Yes, Evalina. Come, Charlie.

Charlie's staying.
Tell Dillon to open the garage door.

- Yes, Mum.
- Thank you, Evalina.

Charlie, sit.

Dillon, Mum says to go
and open the garage door.

The master's still sleeping.
He had a bit too much to drink last night.

If there are any calls, just take the
number, and he's not to be disturbed.

Evalina, don't be cross
with me about Charlie.

He's just such a nuisance on the beach.
I can't read. I can't do anything.

He's always gone before.

Well, I'd just like a day
without him, that's all.

I'm sure he'll be good.
Won't you Charlie?

Goodbye, Evalina.

See you later.

The mother and children have
left the house in the car.

Take the Father here first, sir.
Hey, we are both in a hurry.

You're always in a hurry, Moses.
Fill in this form.

I never will understand
why it takes four days,

for a letter to get from
Queenstown to Maseru.

You gotta spend so much time
sitting outside your gate,

that's what the trouble is.

- The telex is working again.
- Good.

According to Fentor,
there's more rain heading our way.

We've got to check
our instructions.

Who knows? The security police might
be looking for a Lesotho postal inspector.

That's what takes
the mail so long.

Your security police got to read
half of it before they let it through.

You think we don't know what's going on,
but we know. We know.

Father,...'re a brave man to
drive with him. Good luck.

Oh, come on.

Is this your bag, Father?

Yes. It's, er... just some clothes,
shaving things and a Bible.

Yes, I thought I felt
a book of some kind.

Bless you.

Hello, Moses.

Yes, right.

Hey, Moses, Moses!

Won't be long.

There's been some
trouble with the roads.

There's a message for you.

Donald, the important thing is
not to accept their restrictions.

That's why those kids in Soweto
refusing to be taught in Afrikaans...

...are taking chains off their minds that
no one will ever be able to put back.

I made it.

I learned it as a boy.

- So Daddy's been travelling all night.
- But why are we going to Granny's?

Oh, Mum,
I haven't got my pyjamas.

Your pyjamas are in the boot.
Because if he gets across safely,

he's going to phone us there, and we're
going to join him and fly to England.

But what's going to
happen to Charlie?

I left a note in the bedroom for Evalina.
She'll take him to the Bricelands.

But what's going to happen
to Evalina, Mum?

I don't know. Daddy left her
all the money he could find.

- Nothing?
- No.

Come on.

Hey! Hey!
Bless you, my son.

Wake up,
you sleepy Aussie bastard.

Jesus Christ! I'd given you up.
What the bloody hell happened?

- Moses, it's the right one.
- Good luck, Father.

- Thanks. The roads are awful.
- Shit, it's 8.30.

- Yeah, we've got to move.
- It took me two hours, coming down.

I was really pushing this thing.

Now, where is
that child's doll?

She'll never sleep tonight
if she doesn't find it, will she?

- We're never going to make it.
- We can't get stopped by the police.

Something very
wrong here, Charlie.

It's 9.15. I can't believe I've gone this
far just to turn round and go back again.

For God's sake, move them out of the way!
Please! Move them!

Excuse me. Can you tell me which is nearer,
the British or American Embassy?

We are a Commonwealth country, Father.
It's the British High Commission.

But which is nearer?

The British High Commission
is there on the right, past...

Thank you.

Excuse me. I have to see the
high commissioner immediately.

My name is Donald Woods, I'm the editor
of the Daily Dispatch in South Africa.

There's a Father Donald Woods...

No, no, no, no, no, no.
I'm not a Father.

An editor,
to see the high commissioner.

Yes, sir.

The high commissioner is in London, but
the acting high commissioner will see you.

Thank you.

Good Lord!
I'd no idea you were a priest!

I'm not, but I desperately
need to use your phone.

We understood you were banned.

I was.
Do I need a code?

No, no, you dial direct.
Would you care for a cup of tea?

I've come to ask your government
for political asylum.

Our pleasure.

Oh, Donald.

Yes, that was good timing,
she's just arrived!

Well, she's just pulled into
the driveway, dear.


Donald, you haven't quarrelled, have you,
dear? She's got all the children with her.

No, no, you'd better not say anything.
She's just coming.

Oh, darling.

Hi, Gran.

It's Donald.
Isn't that a coincidence?

Go on, Mum.

Answer it.

Hello, Donald.

Wendy, I'm... I'm where
I expected to be.

- Come as quick as you can.
- He's there.

- Hello, Donald?
- Yes.

Donald, shall we still
make for the Telle Bridge?

Yes. From where you are you should
have good roads most of the way.

- Just hurry, before... just hurry.
- We're on our way.

I love you.

I'm a priest.
You can't speak to me like that.

Just hurry.

- We're going on an aeroplane.
- Now, all you kids go to the toilet.

- Come on, lads.
- Have you got any biscuits?

Regina, come along, quick. I don't know
what's happening, but we may need help.

- I'll drive you, dear.
- Thanks.

You'd have to overfly
South African territory,...

...and they demand that all planes
land in South Africa before going on.

Well, they can't stay here. They'd never
be safe from the South African police.

Look, we had hoped to fly to Botswana.
And the sooner the better.

- That's over two hours' flying.
- Could they force us to land?

They have no shortage
of military planes.

Well, my wife and children will be
at the Telle Bridge in a few hours.

We could be there
to meet them...

- In this rain? Impossible.
- They'll have to stay in a hotel overnight.

We'll telegraph to have
them met at Telle Bridge.

What's going on here?

I'm just taking the children
over for a little holiday.

- Are they all under eighteen?
- Yes.

You can put their
names on your form.

You picked good
weather for a holiday.

Well, they say the weather changes
every half-hour, so it might be fine.

That's for sure.

- Mum, you've got my birthday wrong.
- Never mind.

You haven't put down
your husband's name.


Middle initial?


- Have a good holiday.
- Thank you. Come on, boys.

I wish they'd get the signal straight.
They're trying to tell us something.

- I've got it.
- Wonderful.

Tell them not to leave
anything in the car.

- Here, dear, I found this.
- I never brought anything for the rain.

Darling, it's not much, but you can't go to
England with five children and no money.

Oh, Mum.

We must hurry.

- You will write to us?
- All right, Mum.

Be careful.
We love you.

Goodbye, Grandpa.

- See you soon, Granny.
- It suits you, Janey.

Look after yourself, Granny.

God bless you.

Mummy, it's running
down my neck.

- Are you all right?
- Yes, I'm fine.

- Is that too heavy?
- I'll manage.




- I thought you'd never get here.
- Daddy, are we going in the plane?

Welcome to exile.

Listen, look after your kids.
I must phone in that scoop.

- I'll make you a hero.
- Right, I'll pay you later.

What with?

Here is the 12 o'clock news.
An Australian news report has stated

that the banned editor of the
Daily Dispatch, Donald Woods,

has escaped into Lesotho by swimming
the flooded Telle River by night.

Now this is a moment you'll want
to remember. Look happy!

Now get outta here.

- Mr. Woods...
- Donald...

- Jane, make sure my bag is safe.
- Mr. Woods!

The South African government have told
Lesotho they refuse transit for the plane.

And they say they'll force it down
with jets if you fly anyway.

I think they're bluffing. With all the
media attention, it would look very bad.

They don't give a stuff about
the press. They've shown that.

- Have we got a chance?
- Yeah, Ritchie's a clever pilot.

I'd say a chance. But the longer you wait,
the longer they have to plan something.

- If Ritchie will go, we'll go.
- Oh, shit.


- Good afternoon.
- Afternoon.

Mr. Woods, we've arranged
United Nations passports for all of you.

And the Prime Minister has decided I
should accompany you. We must hurry.

- Mrs. Woods, good luck.
- Get on that plane.

- Bye-bye, Bruce, take care.
- Send us a postcard!

We hope that these passports
and my being here,

might make the South Africans
hesitate, but we're not sure.

- But it's the best we can offer.
- Everyone strapped in?

A friend of Steve Biko's
is a friend of ours.

How long before we're o... How long
before we're over South African territory?

About 30 seconds.

I won't be going where they expect me,
but they'll expect that too.

Roger, hang on.
They've picked up the flight.

They're demanding to know
who's on board.

McElrea thinks we must
give them some answer.

Tell them one Lesotho official and seven
holders of United Nations passports.


- Have you heard the news?
- Remember we're on the phone.

Yes, I know, I know. But tell me,
what are your sources telling you?

The schoolchildren in
Soweto are on strike,...

...citing something called
black consciousness.

They have refused
to study Afrikaans,...

...refused to be trained simply
as servants to the system.

The name... Biko...

...has been uttered
here and there.

It's the beginning
of the end, Donald.

Change the way people think,
and things will never be the same.

- What's the government's reaction?
- Tense.

Troops have been sent
in to restore order.

Hell, they're kids.

They may shout a little bit,
break a few windows, but...

Now, stop!
Stop right there!

This is an illegal gathering.

I am giving you three minutes
to disperse. Go home. Go home!

I'm warning you.

- Sergeant.
- Get ready to fire!

I'm warning you.

I'm warning you.




AND OVER 4,000

But you, the black child,
smart or dumb,... are born into this,
and smart or dumb,...'ll die in it.

- Subtitle -
Completely fixed: titler