7.0/10
3,894
34 user 14 critic

A Dry White Season (1989)

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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as André Brink), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ben du Toit
...
Susan du Toit
...
Stanley Makhaya
...
Captain Stolz (as Jurgen Prochnow)
...
Melanie Bruwer
...
Winston Ntshona ...
Gordon Ngubene
Thoko Ntshinga ...
Emily Ngubene
Leonard Maguire ...
Bruwer
Gerard Thoolen ...
Colonel Viljoen
...
Suzette du Toit
Andrew Whaley ...
Chris
Rowen Elmes ...
Johan du Toit
Stella Dickin ...
Susan's Mother
David de Keyser ...
Susan's Father (as David De Keyser)
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Storyline

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 own society is built on a pillar of injustice and exploitation. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Assassinato Sob Custódia  »

Box Office

Gross:

$3,766,879 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Euzhan Palcy and producer Paula Weinstein battled to have South Africans cast for the film's black African characters. See more »

Goofs

When Marlon Brando is in court grilling the Doctor. His glasses are on, then they pan away from him for a moment then back to him and his glasses are up on his head. Then they pan away for just a second, and when they go back to him, they are down again. Very subtle but easy to notice. See more »

Quotes

Ian McKenzie: Oh I'm terribly sorry, would you like a cup of tea?
Ben du Toit: No, no thank you. No, I'm here on a matter of justice.
Ian McKenzie: Oh, justice. Well I'm afraid that's a trifle more complex to serve you up than a cup of tea.
See more »


Soundtracks

UNOMATHEMBA
Written by Joseph Shabalala
Performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
Produced by Danny Lawson for Night After Night Ltd.
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User Reviews

A different, but great take on the apartheid story
8 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

Donald Sutherland (one of Hollywood's most undervalued actors) is simply brilliant in this quiet and thought-provoking films. Many black people do not like to see white heroes in films about apartheid or racism. But the truth is, there are many white people who have contributed to the fight for justice, not for black people, but for humanity.

Marlon Brando is also fantastic. Unfortunately, Susan Sarandon's role is quite minimal.

The film is about a white teacher in a posh boys school (whites only) whose gardener asks for his help when his son is arrested and beaten up. The son later dies and the father seeks justice. Sutherland's character is faced with the reality that being a good person and minding one's own business may not be enough, especially when he realises that more is going on in his country than he knows about. As another reviewer has said, Marlon Brando's lawyer character perfectly showcases a brilliant man who has given himself to hopeless causes. he expertly shows in court the injustice that is going on. We see how the legal system worked for the oppressors; knowing this, Brando's character does it anyway. It is the principle that counts. Much like (in a totally different kind of film) King Theoden's words in the Lord of the Rings:The Return of the King, when it is noted that in no way will his army defeat the enemy, replies, 'yes, but we will meet them in battle all the same.' It was people like this who gave of themselves for the sake of others, maybe in future generations to which many of us owe our freedom.


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