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Hope For the Human Spirit
on April 10, 2011
A poor black Anglican priest in South Africa during the time of apartheid must come to grips with the fact that his son has, during the course of committing a robbery, murdered a white man. Moreover the murdered white man had grown up on a wealthy plantation neighboring the black priest's church. The son of prejudiced white parents, the murdered white man had grown to become an outstanding, well recognized spokesman against apartheid and for equality among the races in South Africa. When the murdered man's father, ignorant of his son's work, reads it, he embraces the concepts.
Ultimately the black priest and the white landowner meet one another, although both had been much aware of the other's existence. The humble priest must reveal that it was his son who took away the life of the other man's son. The scene never fails to create streams of tears to flow down my face.
This newer version of Alan Paton's novel is touchingly portrayed by two outstanding actors - Richard Harris and James Earl Jones. Having seen the earlier version of "Cry, the Beloved Country," I thought I would not enjoy this rendition because the first one had been prepared with a modest simplicity which such a movie deserves in order to bring the theme to the forefront. I feared that Harris, with his flare for the dramatic, and Jones, with his magnificent voice, would draw too much attention to themselves. But both men are masterful actors and their performances only added to the pathos of the story, which subtly says there is hope for people.