A Dry White Season

Director: Euzhan Palcy
Year Released: 1989
Rating: 1.0

While everyone that knows anything about relevant world events of the last twenty years has heard about the horrible injustices in South Africa, where blacks were treated like slaves by the whites and when the blacks tried to fight back, they were silenced. We get the gist of that sort of thing from this picture, which is all too keen on graphically depicting children getting torn apart by bullets and older men routinely tortured, but never goes any further in its analysis. To call the picture "simple" is most appropriate: black man after black man is killed by evil government people (lead by Jurgen Prochnow, who has gotten good at doing the menacing psycho bit) who, when approached by Donald Sutherland's character (who is the nonconformist white guy, willing to defend the blacks), lie to him and pretend like they're doing nothing wrong. The key "plot" involves Sutherland and a friend trying to gather affidavits to print in a local newspaper to show the people how "unjust" the government is ... but the film is never clear as to how this will help anything. Susan Sarandon and Marlon Brando get throwaway roles - Sarandon, in particular, is really out-of-place. The film needed to delve into the heart of the issue rather than stir us with images of the dead and expect us to understand everything.