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In My Country (2004)

Country of My Skull (original title)
R | | Drama, Romance | 7 May 2004 (Italy)
Trailer
2:08 | Trailer
A journalist and a poetess meet during the hearings of South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Director:

John Boorman

Writers:

Antjie Krog (book), Ann Peacock (screenplay)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Langston Whitfield
Juliette Binoche ... Anna Malan
Brendan Gleeson ... Col. de Jager
Menzi Ngubane Menzi Ngubane ... Dumi Mkhalipi (as Menzi 'Ngubs' Ngubane)
Sam Ngakane Sam Ngakane ... Anderson
Aletta Bezuidenhout Aletta Bezuidenhout ... Elsa Malan
Lionel Newton Lionel Newton ... Edward Morgan
Langley Kirkwood ... Boetie Malan
Owen Sejake Owen Sejake ... Reverend Mzondo
Harriet Lenabe Harriet Lenabe ... Albertina Sobandla (as Harriet Manamela)
Louis van Niekerk Louis van Niekerk ... Willem Malan
Jeremiah Ndlovu Jeremiah Ndlovu ... Old Man in Wheelbarrow
Fiona Ramsay Fiona Ramsay ... Felicia Rheinhardt
Dan Robbertse Dan Robbertse ... Sgt. de Smidt (as Daniel Robbertse)
Robert Hobbs ... Van Deventer
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Storyline

Langston Whitfield is a Washington Post journalist. His editor provocatively sends him to South Africa to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, in which the perpetrators of murder and torture on both sides during Apartheid are invited to come forward and confront their victims. By telling the unvarnished truth and expressing contrition, they may be granted amnesty. Can the deep wounds of Apartheid be healed through reconciliation? Langston is deeply skeptical. He tracks down Colonel De Jager, the most notorious torturer in the South African Police and tries to penetrate the mind of a monster, an experience that obliges him to confront his own demons. Anna Malan is an Afrikaans poet who is covering the hearings for radio. As a white South African, she is shattered by the accounts of the cruelty and depravity committed by her fellow countrymen. Anna and Langston must question their sense of identity. Where do they each belong? How responsible are they for what is done ... Written by donal

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A South African Story of Truth, Love and Reconcilliation

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, including descriptions of atrocities, and for a scene of violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Ireland | South Africa

Language:

English | Afrikaans

Release Date:

7 May 2004 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

In My Country See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,383, 13 March 2005

Gross USA:

$163,893

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,491,434
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The exterior scenes and shots of the TRC offices (for instance where Anna and Dumi first meet) were shot on the forecourt of the South African Museum in the Company Gardens in Cape Town's city center. At least some of the internal scenes at the same place were shot in the Centre for the Book, which is down the road from the Museum and has curving corridors. See more »

Goofs

All number plates on vehicles throughout the film (apart from archival footage) are fake and do not follow the format of older South African number plates. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nelson Mandela: Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The South Bank Show: John Boorman (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Lizalis' Idinga
Arranged by Murray Anderson, Warrick Swinney & Philip King
Performed by Princess Soi-Soi Gqeza, Mpho Motheane & The New Teenage Gospel Choir
Published by Hi-Z Sound
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Reconciliation
29 March 2006 | by jotix100See all my reviews

John Boorman, an interesting film maker, takes us to South Africa after Apartheid. Right after the country underwent the big change during the last decade of the last century, a commission was formed in order to hear the atrocities that were committed by the old regime, as the victims, and their families, were invited to come forward and speak to the panel that was investigating. The film is based on a novel by Antjie Krog, but not having read it, one can't really give an opinion about how true the film is to the novel.

"In my Country", the movie based on this book in its American release, came and went quickly. We tried to see it during its debut, bu it disappeared from local screens in no time. We recently caught the movie on cable.

There are some interesting aspects of what the commission was trying to accomplish in trying to bring members of the repressive force to justice. As in other conflicts, the people that were involved in the atrocities keep repeating about how they were following orders, a poor excuse, since no one owned up to having done anything wrong. After all, this was a country in which a white minority controlled a big black majority, and who wanted to keep things unchanged.

At the center of the story is Anna Malan, a white South African, who is a radio personality. She follows the commission as more and more people are coming forward to tell their stories. A Washington Post black reporter, Langston Whitfield, is also covering the process. Inevitably, both come together. While they clash at first, they find common ground in their desire to tell the truth about South Africa.

Juliette Binoche and Samuel L. Jackson are seen as Anna and Langston. Both give good performances. Brendan Gleeson is seen as the evil De Jager, a man responsible for some of the crimes committed against the poor black of the country who were deemed terrorist by the controlling whites. Menzi Ngubone plays Dumi, Anna's assistant and Sam Ngakone makes a dignified appearance as Anderson, who works for Anna's family.

The film is interesting to watch as Mr. Boorman has given us a film to think about the criminal acts that were committed by a group of people that didn't stop to consider the consequences of what they were doing.


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