- Summary: Under the brutal apartheid regime of the Nationalist Party Government, 25 million blacks are ruled by a minority of 4 million whites. Black people have no vote, no land rights, no rights to freedom of movement, to own a business, or to housing or education. Determined to retain power, whites ban all black opposition organizations, which forces their leaders into exile or imprisonment for life on Robben Island. James Gregory, a typical white Afrikaner, regards blacks as subhuman. Having grown up on a farm in the Transkei, he learned to speak Xhosa at an early age. This makes him an ideal choice to become the warden in charge of Nelson Mandela and his comrades on Robben Island. After all, Gregory speaks their language and can spy on them. However, the plan backfires. Through Mandela's influence, Gregory's allegiance gradually shifts from the racist government to the struggle for a free South Africa. Goodbye Bafana tracks the unlikely but profound relationship between these two men. Through their unique friendship, we witness not only Gregory's growing awareness of man's inhumanity to man, but South Africa's evolution from apartheid to a vibrant democracy. The story, which documents how Mandela became the most inspirational political figure of the modern world, poses the questions: Who is the prisoner? And who sets whom free? (Paramount Vantage)… Collapse
- Director: Bille August
- Genre(s): Biography, Drama, History
- More Details and Credits »
The life of a prison guard is dull, no matter who is in the cell. Director Bille August makes what he can of this material, always holding our interest but never fulfilling the promise of a close encounter with one of the 20th century's most controversial leaders.