Cry Freedom


This is a film that was produced in South Africa during the apartheid revolution period and it demonstrates how the South African people were tortured and killed. The film has two characters who are Woods and Biko. Woods is a newspaper editor while Biko is a South African activist. Woods narrates the whole event starting from the genesis of racial segregation till the end mainly focusing on the torturing and the killing of Biko.


Steve Biko in this film is a black South African activist who tries to fight the whites who are practicing discriminate in South Africa. Biko has little support in his movement but he keeps fighting for the rights of his people. During his campaign that would oversee the achievement of freedom in the country he faces many challenges, however he meets with Woods who is a newspaper editor who helps narrate his story.

Biko narrates all his grievances to woods who seemed to act as intermediary between the Biko and the whites, in the process they became close friends and agreed to work together. Woods having known Biko employed him in his company and also some more people from Biko’s race. It was unfortunate for Biko because he was taken to custody due to his activities.

Biko was arrested and later tortured by the whites, according to the film the torture by the police led to his death. When Woods learnt of this he was very furious toward the police and authorities, he met with senior officers arguing that they were treating the blacks unfairly. His

Cry Freedom

efforts to make this to stop led to him being threatened to stop defending the blacks.

These threats however did not make him stop campaigning for the blacks, at one time in the movie he is targeted by police officers who wanted to kill him, however after he learns that he was a target he is helped by an Australian diplomat to escape. He manages to escape with his family to Lesotho and then moved to Botswana.


The White South African authorities were very harsh and hostile towards the blacks. They tortured and killed blacks in an inhuman way. Most of the killings were as a result of the torture by the police where some were even shot as they demonstrated in the streets demanding freedom. The whites were inhuman towards the blacks and in my own view this should have not happened, these treatment was geared by mans greed toward economic power and political power. we should not let our drive to gain power cause harm and death to the other people.

The killing of Biko was not justified and there was no need for torture, he would have faced trial in the court and not die in cold blood, he however succeeded in sensitizing the rights of the blacks, Bikos friend who is Woods shows that not all the whites were against the movement where some supported the blacks in their campaign, it also shows the extent of greed among the whites who threaten their own white with death and in the film it is clear that they would have killed him despite being one of their own. No religion in the world would support such acts, however we should not blame anyone for what happened in the past but we should look forward to making the world a better place for us to live.

In my own view it was against human rights to torture the blacks, the blacks originally lived in south Africa but when the whites entered they took over leadership and initiated racial discrimination in all institutions, the blacks were alienated from their own lives and whites determined the way of life. Worse occurrences were evident where blacks tried to fight for their freedom and those arrested were tortured and killed leaving them helpless. This movie shows the suffering underwent under colonial rule, it shows the cruel acts the whites undertook when they ruled south Africa. In my own view such acts should not have occurred and should never

Cry Freedom

occur in the future.


Movie Cry Freedom, directed by Richard Attenborough