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YMMV / Cry Freedom

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  • Awesome Music: The rendition of "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" at the end of the film.
    • Although it's not part of the film itself, a music video for a live version of Peter Gabriel's song "Biko" (the 1980 studio version of which is widely credited for popularizing the anti-Apartheid movement outside of South Africa), showing clips of the movie was produced.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The destruction of the black community center by the police.
    • The destruction of the slum in the beginning. The scene showed many innocent black men, women, and children losing their homes to bulldozers. It even showed white policemen bringing their guard dogs into homes and terrifying babies and women.
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    • The Soweto uprising of 1976.
    • The fact that everything in this film is based on a true story.
    • The list of deaths that happened in prison, the majority of which are obviously poor cover-ups for Police Brutality. The government clearly became aware and stopped even giving a reason for the deaths, because the cover-ups had just gone too far.
    • Steve Biko's lingering death, as viewed through the white police doctor summoned to examine him in the jail. Because of his training and the tests he administers to an unconscious Biko, the doctor (along with the viewer) realizes pretty much immediately what has been done to Biko. You can see the doctor's quietly mounting horror as he tries to explain to the police guards - without pissing them off - that Biko's injuries are dead serious, that he's not faking it ("You can't 'sham' a reflex."), and that Biko needs urgent medical attention. When the senior officer instead announces that Biko will be transferred to the police hospital in Pretoria - 700 miles away - to "prevent any chance of escaping," he effectively signs Biko's death warrantnote . This is particularly made clear when Biko is loaded naked and unconscious into the police Land Rover, and his head constantly bounces on the car floor as the vehicle drives over the bumpy road, culminating in the screen freezing and Biko's death date appearing.
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  • Paranoia Fuel: The policemen of your town are corrupt and racist enough to actually sneak into community centers and destroy them. Attempting to call them out results in more policemen threatening you and the witnesses. If you oppose the system, you may be arrested, lethally beaten, and your death's actual cause covered up.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The film doesn't hold back at all in showing just how horrifyingly brutal and oppressive life under Apartheid is but, considering it was still active at the time of it's release and world leaders such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher refused to condemn or act against it, it was a message that needed to be heard and still does today.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Every time a black person is treated unfairly.
    • Steve Biko's tragic death.
    • The destruction of a populated slum, and that's only the beginning of the movie.
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    • Woods' children being burned by acid. Fortunately, they survive.
    • The Woods family having to flee. They fortunately make it, but you can tell that they're sad to leave their life and the few friends they have behind.
    • The Soweto uprising.
  • Too Cool to Live: Biko.
  • Values Resonance: Biko's early scenes with Woods' where he calls out his liberal opposition to Apartheid while still benefiting from it and illustrates to him the nature of poverty and racism where black children grow up knowing that, no matter their abilities or ambition, they will never get the same opportunities as white children is very much in line with the growing discourse about race relations in the United States and other countries in the 2010's.


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