In My Country

Release Date: March 11, 2005
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Limited release

Movie of the Day for Friday, June 4, 2004
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Isn't it romantic?

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Set amidst the emotionally-charged South African apartheid hearings of the mid 1990s, this film is based on the award-winning book Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa, by Antjie Krog. During that time frame, the country was undergoing a unique effort to make amends for its past and set historical wrongs right through hearings held by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). This commission was specifically established to support the apologies of those who committed horrendous human rights crimes, ostensibly under the arm of Apartheid.

This film will focus around two journalists -- a married American who writes for the Washington Post (Samuel L. Jackson) and an Afrikaner radio commentator/poet (Juliette Binoche) -- who meet while covering the inquiries of Archbishop Desmond Tutu's TRC. As the pair hears the testimony from both sides, their intensely devastating emotions are driven by the details of stories about rape, murder and torture. They seek comfort in each other's company, which eventually leads them to become involved in a love affair.

The story feels awfully similar in tone and nature to the earlier Angelina Jolie/Clive Owen flop Beyond Borders. It's simply not easy to insert a romance into the center of such overwhelming historical context. Still, if any director has a talent for taking unlikely stories and making them watchable, it's John Boorman, whose modern classic Deliverance is well-regarded for doing precisely that.

One item of note with regards to the film is that the screenplay is by Ann Peacock, who is penning the upcoming adaptation of C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The scripter has received some criticism for turning a well-regarded work of non-fiction into a romance, but until a final product hits screens, there's no certainty about the ultimate result. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for In My Country
Main Cast Samuel L. Jackson, Juliette Binoche, Brendan Gleeson
Supporting Cast Nick Boraine, Menzi Ngubane
Director John Boorman
Screenwriter Ann Peacock
Distributor Sony Pictures Classics
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 100 minutes
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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