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Cry Freedom Essay

Cry Freedom was a movie that took place in South Africa in the 1970’s. It is a movie about a journalist, Donald Woods, and a black activist, Steve Biko. While Woods was around Biko reporting what was happening, Biko invited Woods to go see one of the impoverished black township so he could see where black people in South Africa lived. When they arrived, Woods was shocked. The black people of South Africa were living in terribly poor conditions due to the government imposed restrictions on their lives. Woods realizes how wrong the government is by putting these restrictions in place and begins to agree with Biko and his beliefs.

Biko was a very outspoken activist for the rights of the black people in South Africa. The government had already banned him from leaving King William’s Town, his hometown, due to his past efforts for the cause. Latter on in the movie, Biko ends up getting arrested after a political speech which is outside of the area in which Biko is supposed to stay banned to. After being arrested, Biko is beaten to death. Since Woods had been reporting on the story, him and Biko had become good friends. After the death of his friend, Woods decided to work to expose the government’s part in the beating of Biko. After meeting with the South African Minister of Justice, Woods is banned by the government just as Biko was when the movie began. After being banned, Woods and his family are targeted and harassed by the government. Woods manages to escape the country of Lesotho disguised as a priest and the rest of his family joins him latter on. Woods escapes to Botswana with the help of an Australian journalist.

Cry Freedom really shows us the issues of South Africa from the past. Black people from South Africa were severely discriminated against and were forced to live in terrible conditions. These terrible conditions were forced upon the black community by the government. This was the time of the apartheid system, so the government was the cause of much of the discrimination of the black people of South Africa. The movie really shows us the true face of the government. We see how the government was behind the terrible things that happened to black people during that time. Not only did the government support this discrimination, but it also went as far as killing black people who were trying to speak out for their rights, just as they did to Biko. Cry Freedom shows us how horrible the government actually was in South Africa during the apartheid.

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