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Yesterday (2006)

Leleti Khumalo , Darrell James Roodt  |  R |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

Price: $9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Leleti Khumalo
  • Directors: Darrell James Roodt
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BPL2F6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,884 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Yesterday" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

As beautiful as it is heartbreaking, the Oscar®-nominated drama Yesterday brings an intimate human perspective to the AIDS crisis in Africa. On the surface, it's a harsh and devastating story about bad things happening to good people, but such a limited description robs the film of its warmth and tender compassion. Best known for his 1995 drama Cry the Beloved Country, director Darrell James Roodt returns to his native South Africa for this moving and heartfelt portrait of a young, devoted mother named Yesterday (played by Leleti Khumalo, from Hotel Rwanda) who learns that she is HIV positive, and remains determined to stay alive until her young daughter Beauty (Lihle Mvelase) is old enough to go off to school. Her husband (Kenneth Khambula) is also stricken with AIDS, and Yesterday cares for him even as they are ostracized by fearful neighbors in their tiny Zulu village. One might expect a film about AIDS to be terribly depressing, and Roodt pulls no punches when conveying the emotional anguish of Yesterday's dilemma. But Yesterday is so visually beautiful in terms of its physical and spiritual landscape (it was filmed in the expansive KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa) that it's universally appealing, and the score by Madale Kunene adds just the right emotional seasoning to the film's ethnic roots. Anyone with a beating heart can relate to Yesterday's plight as a caring wife and mother, and Khumalo's performance is so lovely that she lights up the screen, even (and perhaps especially) during Yesterday's darkest hours. Without pounding on its point, Yesterday puts a human face on a global crisis that's too often viewed on impersonal terms. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

After falling ill, Yesterday (Khumalo) learns that she is HIV positive. With her husband in denial and young daughter to tend to, Yesterday's one goal is to live long enough to see her child go to school. Set against the awesome, harsh landscapes of South Africa, Yesterday is an eloquent, unsentimental film that quietly builds an overwhelming emotional force

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bitter Struggle of a Woman with AIDS November 28, 2005
Set in South Africa, "Yesterday" chronicles the harshness of life in a small Zulu village, and the plight of a woman named Yesterday, whose husband works in the Johannesburg mines, and who in his occasional visits home, has infected her with the AIDS virus. When she tells him, his reaction is denial and to brutally beat her, but later comes home to die, and to be nursed by her. Yesterday vows to stay alive until her little daughter is of school age, and in the care of the village schoolteacher. The hardships suffered are unrelenting, making this film not an easy one to watch.

Leleti Khumalo is wonderful as Yesterday, and others in the cast include Kenneth Khambula as the husband, Harriet Lenabe as Yesterday's only friend, the teacher, and Camilla Walker as the caring doctor. The cinematography by Michael Brierling of the arid, desolate landscape has a strange beauty despite the hardness of the life of its people, and there is a mellow loveliness to the Mandale Kunene soundtrack. Written and directed by Darrell Roodt, "Yesterday" was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, and it is a story of courage and love, though an exceedingly sorrowful one. Total running time is 90 minutes.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday puts a human face on the African Epidemic January 29, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Yesterday" opens with a long slow camera pan over South African Desert. When it seemed too long I looked at the timer on the DVD player and 3 1/2 minutes had passed - just a camera passing across the desert. Then the camera picks up two lone figures walking up the road, a young black mother and her child. They pass two women who ask them how far it is to their village. "We've been walking over two hours", the young woman says. She clearly has far to walk still.

The woman finally arrives at her destination - to get in line to see a Doctor who comes to the neighboring village once a week. Although she has walked for hours, and has the return walk ahead of her, she is told that she is too late. A man comes up to interrupt the Doctor's line - about 20 patients ahead of her. Then I got it. The long opening camera shot was designed to give me, the comfortable viewer, some sense of the uncomfortable nature of life in these African villages. Although the woman had walked through the desert for hours she was too late - and the Doctor wouldn't be returning for a week. I felt ashamed at being annoyed by the opening 3 1/2 minute shot of the desert. Director Darrell Roodt had me. The director of the acclaimed "Cry, the Beloved Country" returns with another story that must be told about his native South Africa.

The young mother was "Yesterday", played by Leleti Khumalo of "Hotel Rwanda", and she was leading her daughter "Beauty", played by Lihle Mvelase. Yesterday is a Zulu, and Roodt makes the film ring true by having the entire film in Zulu, so a warning to those who hate to read subtitles or don't speak Zulu.

It dawns on us that Yesterday has some awful disease - from her coughing at night I at first thought she might have T.B.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hauntingly Beautiful Film From South Africa November 29, 2005
YESTERDAY is a film that settles into your heart to remind us how treasureable life is. Few films made with such utter simplicity of focus have addressed a world crisis issue in the form of one couple than this and for that reason alone this film should be widely seen. But there are many other reasons to pay attention to this South African movie.

Yesterday (Leleti Khumalo) is an eloquently beautiful Zulu woman who discovers she has been infected with HIV from her coalminer husband (Kenneth Khambula). She confronts him with that fact and his response is embarrassed rage and physical abuse. Yesterday is concerned that her daughter live to attend school and have a chance at a better life. She is befriended by the school teacher (Harriet Lenabe) and by the doctor in whom she confides (Camilla Walker). Growing ill from AIDS, Yesterday's husband returns home and seeks Yesterday's succor and forgiveness on his deathbed. The power of Yesterday's spirit only grows stronger with every sad reality of her life: she is determined to stay alive until her daughter is safely in school and the future that transition promises.

Each of these actors provide astonishing performances, so delicately nuanced that they are able to pry open the heart. The majestically beautiful scenery of South Africa, with its mist-clothed mountains and far reaching stretches of horizons, plays an important role in this story: nature remains the guardian of mortals. Director and writer Darrell Roodt has a little masterpiece of a film here and one that deserves all of our attention. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, November 05
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Beauty, Unbearable Sadness December 1, 2005
By Arnaud
I was in Kenya when I saw this movie by accident on TV. After a few minutes I could not let my eyes away from the TV set. The story is simple, the narration is slow and yet you are glued to the screen. The love of this mother for her daugher jumps to your face with very few words and a tough fight against day-to-day adversity, against the disease and against the hostile neighbors.

I left this movie as emotionnaly wrenched as I was after I read "On the Beach" by Nevil Shute.

Brace yourself and dive into this movie. You'll be changed for ever.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars endearing and enduring
wish i could have done something for her, for her life and her daughter. Great (oscar) movie. Would love to see leleti in more movies. She has a wonderful smile
Published 2 months ago by rose lovell
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing movie
Amazing, heartfelt and an accurate account of life dealing with the impact on family that is dealing with HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Published 3 months ago by Carol Fridlund
5.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday is Today
The DVD quality is very good. This film will show the difference in culture(s). Love is love no matter how bitter and or painful. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dr DelaRosa
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Movie
What a sweet but sad movie. Yesterday was an amazing, full of courage, loving and dedicated wife and mother. Read more
Published 6 months ago by laureen Milazzo
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic !!!
An amazing movie. The scenes ,the writing. This is the kind of movie you can watch with the sound off and still follow. Read more
Published 6 months ago by L. Treadwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt, amazing...
This is what forgiveness is all about. The main character's husband has cheated on her, giving her HIV/AIDS. She is ostracized by the community for it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Karen Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday
This movie is excellent and I highly recommend it. It helped me to understand what people have to face and how they deal with hardships in other countries. Read more
Published 12 months ago by June Burn
5.0 out of 5 stars great story
My wife is a school teacher - history. They study South Africa. This is a great story and a great movie.
Published 13 months ago by J. Novotny
5.0 out of 5 stars UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
This movie brought me to tears that a woman with little education had the guts, the courage and the strength to do what came natural for herself and for her family. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Liz Gee
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
I am a nursing instructor and I show this movie to my students when I teach Aids and HIV health. The movie is very moving, the characters are compelling and believable, incredible... Read more
Published 14 months ago by C. Thompson
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