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Sarafina!

92 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

Academy Award®-winning star Whoopi Goldberg (For Colored Girls) lights up the screen in the exhilarating drama, Sarafina!

In a world where truth is forbidden—1970s South Africa—an inspiring teacher (Goldberg) dares to instill in her students lessons not found in schoolbooks. In doing so, she challenges their freedom and hers. Applauded by critics and audiences everywhere, this upbeat and powerful story promises to stir your emotions and make your spirits soar!


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Whoopi Goldberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004SUDQ3Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,628 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Elijah Chingosho on May 8, 2006
Format: DVD
"Sarafina" is a powerful and moving film about the struggle of South African school kids for survival and freedom against apartheid. It is a story of determination, perseverance and courage against tremendous odds. It teaches us that good will always triumph against evil: that the oppressed will always fight back and die to regain their freedom and dignity. The viewer will have a picture of what life was like under apartheid, ranging from school life, living conditions for blacks, the prisons and the brutal police.

I particularly love the beautiful South African music with its rich and outstanding vocals, percussion, horns and the like. You will love the sounds of veterans musicians like Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba.

This is highly recommended for those who want to learn the history of the struggle against social injustice in South Africa.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on May 10, 2004
Format: DVD
I think all who have seen Sarafina agree it is a powerful movie. What's more, it's beautiful at the same time. Listen to the voices of the choir in this movie. Sarafina started as a musical, and that talent is prevalent in the film version as well. The accapellas are spectacular, and the choir sings in South African fashion. It gives me a chill.
I enjoyed seeing Whoopi Goldberg in a dramatic role, versus the comedy shtick she usally does.
Lastly, tt's interesting seeing the conditions that apartheid era blacks lived in South Africa. Thank goodness apartheid is over. I'm glad what we see in this movie is now history!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The movie tells a lot about what went during the turbulent times in South Africa.
Sarafina is a South African girl who is part of an anti-segregation group in Soweto, South Africa. She went to a school governed by white soldiers learning only about the white history. Her history teacher secretly taught about how the students could make a difference. Sarafina participate in many dangerous protests where her friends have gotten injured, arrested and even killed.
This movie is very educational and would do well in a eighth grade classroom.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nse Ette TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
`Sarafina!' is the soundtrack to the brilliant musical movie starring Whoopi Goldberg as a radical school teacher in apartheid South Africa, and a bright sunny student named Sarafina. Whoopi allegedly agreed to appear in Sister Act II on the condition that this movie got promoted by Hollywood.

The soundtrack comprises mostly South African music, rich in percussion, organs, horns, guitars, throbbing bass, and the outstanding vocals and harmonizing South African music is famous for.

Opening track `Sarafina!' by Hugh Masakela is a bouncy, rhythmic number performed by the cast. Melodic guitars and darting horns make this a winner. In a similar vein is `Freedom is coming tomorrow'.

`The Lord's prayer' is a dramatic rendition of the famous prayer. It starts off slow and accapella with organ accompaniment, before the rich African rhythm heralds a joyous chorale performance. This was performed by the entire school cast at the start of another school day.

`Thank you mama' is a tender lilting ballad that kicks off with chants and rolling guitars. A love song between mother (Miriam Makeba) and daughter (Leleti Khumalo).

Most of the other songs are typical beautiful South African sounds, ranging from down tempo lament-like songs to joyous celebrations; `Nkonyane Kandaba' (lament-like), `Sabela', `Sechaba', `Safa Saphel' Isizwe' (lament-like), the guitar laden `Vuma Dlozi Lami' and `Lizobuya'.

`One more time' features the fiery vocals of James Ingram, with South African backing vocals which transform what would have otherwise been a bland R&B song.

A brilliant movie and soundtrack!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Sims on February 17, 2010
Format: DVD
This is an old film, 1992, and given the date it must have been filming during the last days of apartheid. That gives it an even more powerful edge. Viewers today can look on it as a historical film, but it isn't.

I had never heard of Leleti Khumalo before. As Sarafina, she gives a performance that is restrained and stunning in its simplicity and power. Sarafina herself is a complex and passionate young girl, a Black South African student, a dreamer inspired by her morally and intellectually powerful teacher, played by Whoopi Goldberg. It is to my everlasting shame that the conditions and brutality of apartheid came home to me first via this film. In my mind I knew apartheid was a bad thing, but in a vague sense I thought it was just a matter of separateness that should be changed. Now I have a sense of how dreadful it was; I doubt anyone can claim to know how dreadful it was unless they lived it.

I knew who Mandela was and that he had been imprisoned for years. I didn't know that schoolchildren were brutalized and tortured. Oddly, one of the most sickening parts didn't involve dogs or whips or guns or electric shock, but the smiling, vapid blond woman who, never losing her smile, looks at Serafina who is filthy from being jailed and tortured, obviously still in shock from the experience, and chirps, "Are you all right?" Living her life of privilege, employing Serafina's mother as a maid, and completely oblivious to the truth of what's around her. As oblivious as was I, a half a world away.

I've never been a Whoopi Goldberg fan, but her performance was magical. The music was exotic and unforgettable, and authentic. The directing was flawless.

This is a film everyone should see. I think it should be shown in history classes in high school.
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