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A Dry White Season
A Dry White Season
Actors: Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman, Zakes Mokae, Jürgen Prochnow, Susan Sarandon
Director: Euzhan Palcy
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2005     1hr 37min

Schoolteacher Ben du Toit (Donald Sutherland) has been insulated all his life from the horrors of apartheid in his native South Africa. Perhaps he really didn't want to know. When the son of his black gardener is arrested ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman, Zakes Mokae, Jürgen Prochnow, Susan Sarandon
Director: Euzhan Palcy
Creators: Kelvin Pike, Euzhan Palcy, Mary Selway, Paula Weinstein, Tim Hampton, Andre Brink, Colin Welland
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/08/2005
Original Release Date: 09/20/1989
Theatrical Release Date: 09/20/1989
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 37min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

Welcome to South Africa, Benjamin Du Toit.
Doctor Trance | MA, United States | 02/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Susan Surandon's cynical remark to Donald Sutherland, indicating that although he's lived all his life in South Africa, he was oblivoius to the brutality surrounding his normal family life. Schoolteacher Meneer Du Toit literally loses everything in his struggle to bring justice to those responsible for the deaths of his gardener and his gardener's son. Feeling guilty after taking his gardener's son's death a little too lightly, he is immediately swept up in the chaotic world of corruption and bloody cover-ups, after seeing the body of his badly beaten and tortured friend of 15 years.

The movie is full of gripping scenes and holds nothing back, with brutal slayings of children, torture scenes, and a disturbing view into a hospital mortuary. The film is primarily rated R for these violent images.

Marlon Brando, although appearing for maybe 15-20 minutes of the film, really takes over in his scenes, as slick barrister, Ian MacKenzie. Even though his courtroom battle is futile, he certainly gets in his licks. He played his character to a tee, and definitely deserved the Oscar nomination, despite the controversy that year, over his limited screen time.

I was much younger when I first rented the film around 1990, and it hits me harder today than it did back then. It's a well acted film, and a powerful one, Donald Sutherland gives and incredible perfomance and a particularly moving scene in the film is when he is in tears on the phone, speaking to his daughter, after finally realizing she has betrayed him. Except for his son, most of his family, friends, and colleagues do not wish to associate with him after the path his as chosen in fighting a losing battle against corruption. A top notch film about a man willing to give up everything, in pursuit of truth and justice over the wrongful death of a friend. This should be on everyone's must see list of important 80's films."
Outstanding, powerful and moving
John Mark Shaw | Lancashire, United Kingdom | 10/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener's son is brutally beaten up by the police at a demonstration by black school children, he gradually begins to realize his society is built on a pillar of injustice and exploitation.
This incredibly powerful film deals intelligently with the devastatingly brutal tensions surrounding the explosive issues within assumed class tiers and the racially incongruous tempest that was the violent melting pot of southern Africa.
Sutherland's performance is one of his finest, ably backed up by Susan Sarandon."
Gritty realism; a real eye-opener
mooney1787 | Wisconsin | 07/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When you start with a cast that includes Donald Sutherland, Susan Sarandon, Marlon Brando and Jürgen Prochnow, you're bound to come up with a very powerful movie.When you add in the highly charged issue of Apartheid in South Africa, you absolutely can't miss.This movie is based in part upon the events of the Soweto Massacre in 1976, a dramatization of which is shown in all-too-graphic detail, and in part on a (I think) fictionalized account of the types of events which occurred during Apartheid.An excellent performance by all of the major players and a movie well worth viewing -- more than once."
Powerful and Moving
Michelle the Doula | On the road to world-peace | 06/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film is beautiful and disturbing. I watched this originally as a junior in high school, 15 years ago; it's message has never left me. I give it extremely high accolades."