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South Africa

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"Cry Freedom" is Too Afraid to Be the Movie It Could Be.

Film Critic Stephen Schiff reviews "Cry Freedom," starring Kevin Kline as South African journalist Donald Woods, and Denzel Washington as anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko. The movie portrays the friendship that developed between Woods, a white reporter, and Biko, one of the leading foes of apartheid. "Cry Freedom" is directed by Richard Attenborough.


South African Group Mixes Jazz and Kwela.

Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a 1973 recording of the South African quintet Spear, featuring saxophonist Dudu Pukwana. Like many of South Africa's best-known jazz artists, Pukwana emigrated in the middle 60s, settling in England and helping to spark the rich jazz scene there.


The Intransigent Misery of South Africa

Film critic Stephen Schiff reviews A World Apart, about a white anti-apartheid activist whose family needs her more than the movement does. While the film has a few missteps, Schiff says it's directed with a steady hand.


Two New Mystery Novels.

Book critic John Leonard reviews "The Song Dog," by James McClure, and "Personal Effects," by Marissa Piesman.


A Supernatural Imagining of Apartheid

Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the new novel by South African writer Andre Brink. It is titled "Imaginings of Sand." Brink first made a name for himself in the 1960s as one of a new generation of African writers who wanted their work to be more politically outspoken.



Critic Milo Miles reviews the new documentary and soundtrack Amandla! about protest music in black communities of South Africa during the Apartheid years.


New Recording Issued from Bassist Harry Miller

Everybody knows jazz is an American invention that mediates between African and European musical conventions. But for decades, African and European improvisers have been forging their own bonds and hybrids, without American mediation. As a case in point, here's a newly issued historical recording by the South African-born bassist Harry Miller: Harry Miller's Isipingo: Which Way Now.

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