James Gregory, a typical white Afrikaner who regarded blacks as sub-human, grew up on a farm in the Transkei where he learned to speak Xhosa at an early age. This made him an ideal choice to become the warder in charge of Mandela and his comrades on Robben Island. Gregory could speak their language. He could spy on them without them knowing it. But the plan backfired. Through Mandela’s influence, Gregory’s allegiance gradually shifted from racism to support of Mandela’s quest for a democratically free South Africa.
Goodbye Bafana tracks the unlikely but profound relationship that developed between these two men. Through this unique friendship we witness Gregory’s growing awareness of man’s inhumanity to man, paralleled by the remarkable story of South Africa’s evolution from the fascism of Apartheid to a vibrant democracy in which Mandela played the pivotal role, becoming the most inspirational political figure of the modern world.
The story poses some extraordinary questions: Who is the prisoner? And who, in the end, sets who free? It’s about two men from totally opposite and conflicting backgrounds who bond in the face of impossible odds.
- Type of film
- Running Time
- 140 mins
- Bille August
- Makar Kozhuhov
- Herve Schneid
- Greg Latter, Bille August based on a novel by James Gregory and Bob Graham
- Director of Photography
- Robert Fraisse
- Production Designer
- Tom Hannam
- Principal Cast
- Joseph Fiennes, Dennis Haysbert, Diane Kruger
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Last updated 16th November 2007