7.0/10
4,642
37 user 21 critic

A Dry White Season (1989)

A white middle class South African suburbanite with no interest in politics agrees to help his black gardener find his jailed son. His investigation opens his eyes to the horrors committed by the secret police and turns him into a target.

Director:

Euzhan Palcy

Writers:

André P. Brink (novel) (as André Brink), Colin Welland (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Ben
Janet Suzman ... Susan
Zakes Mokae ... Stanley
Jürgen Prochnow ... Captain Stolz (as Jurgen Prochnow)
Susan Sarandon ... Melanie
Marlon Brando ... McKenzie
Winston Ntshona ... Gordon
Thoko Ntshinga Thoko Ntshinga ... Emily
Leonard Maguire Leonard Maguire ... Bruwer
Gerard Thoolen ... Col. Viljoen
Susannah Harker ... Suzette
Andrew Whaley Andrew Whaley ... Chris
Rowen Elmes Rowen Elmes ... Johan
Stella Dickin Stella Dickin ... Susan's Mother
David de Keyser 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

Afrikaans | Zulu | English

Release Date:

20 September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Dry White Season See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$202,507, 24 September 1989

Gross USA:

$3,766,879

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,766,879
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie's opening title card reads, "South Africa, 1976." See more »

Goofs

When the camera pulls away from the court house (Harare City Hall) a bus drives past displaying an advertisement for Balkan Bulgarian Airlines, which flew to Zimbabwe, but not to South Africa under apartheid during the 1970s. See more »

Quotes

Melanie Bruwer: You'd better put your rage into perspective, Benjamin Du Toit. This is a long distance race, you'll need to pace yourself.
Ben du Toit: I suppose cynicism goes with the job!
Melanie Bruwer: It's not cynicism, it's realism.
Ben du Toit: It has nothing to do with *my* reality.
Melanie Bruwer: It has *everything* to do with your reality. Just because you haven't seen it before doesn't mean hasn't always existed!
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.
See more »

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User Reviews

A reminder of the brutality of Apartheid
9 February 2002 | by rmcode2See all my reviews

Having just seen it on the TV again after a number of years it is a stark reminder of the terror imposed on the black population by the security apparatus of S. Africa during the years of Apartheid.

The part with Marlon Brando as the human rights lawyers is particularly good exposing the ludicrous nature of a system that is completely repressive while maintaining the fiction that it is not.

This film should be compulsory viewing in any educational course studying recent African history

A personal reminiscence:-

I was living in Zimbabwe from 87-89 and I remember when the film was being shot on location there. They were shooting the scene at the end when it is raining but it was during the dry season in Zimbabwe in the local news they recorded the fact that they'd had to make their own rain with lots of hoses etc.


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