Monday, May 7, 2012
Cry, The Beloved Country is the story of Stephen Kumalo, an Anglican priest in
South Africa struggling to hold his family together, and his neighbor, wealthy landowner, James Jarvis. Kumalo journeys from his village to Johannesburg to help his sister and find his son who went in search of her previously. He is dismayed to find that his sister has turned to prostitution but his heart is broken when his son, Absalom is arrested for killing Jarvis' son, Arther, a white man working for racial justice. The story, as seen in the movie, is as much about the relationship between the two fathers as it is about the racial situation in South Africa.
For a movie that was made as recently as 1995 and which stars two such powerful actors, I suppose this movie is a bit of a disappointment. In some ways, it had the feeling of a made-for-t.v. adaptation or a 1970's movie. Yet the story is so moving and Jones and Harris such powerful actors, that I was drawn into this intimate story about the damage human cruelty can inflict. A trip to Half-Price Books is in my very near future and I will definitely be looking to bring Cry, The Beloved Country home with me.