… despite my being an ex-South African who was moved by the episode the movie depicts and despite loving that poem.
- Movies are for escape. I have no interest in serious depictions of serious matters in which stuff doesn’t get blowed up real good and there are neither monsters nor space ships. Major babes are also helpful, but they’re not sufficient in and of themselves. Of course, this objection applies to many other movies, too.
- I’m sick to death of the unspoken belief that South African history began with the end of Apartheid. Both white and black history in South Africa extends far back beyond that and is full of fascinating stories – and many of them actually have nothing to do with race relations! Even those enormous figures who did have a great impact on race relations had interesting and important lives outside that area. (And black history in South Africa involves more than Chaka and Mandela.)
- I’m even sicker of movies set in South Africa in which South African characters are played by American actors. Yeah, I know about box office. It’s also possible that Eastwood is friends with Damon and Freeman and wanted to work with them. I don’t care. South Africa has a movie industry of its own and a goodly supply of fine actors, black and white. They’d work for less than the Hollywood stars, they’d do a better job, and they’d get the accents right. South African actors are also objecting. Let’s hope that does some good.