- Title: USA: New film, "Cry The Beloved Country", premieres in New York
- Date: 23rd October 1995
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 23, 1995) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF THE ZIEGFIELD THEATRE, WHERE PREMIERE WAS HELD. ACTOR RICHARD HARRIS ENTERS THEATRE. HARRIS SAYING "THE MOVIE COMES TOGETHER WITH THAT VERY SUBTLE MESSAGE, AND AT THE END OF THE PICTURE IT'S ABOUT EMANCIPATION, UNIFICATION, EMANCIPATION AND GETTING TOGETHER., IF EVER A PICTURE WAS SO IMPORTANT, NOW, THIS IS IT JAMES EARL JONES ARRIVING AT THEATRE JAMES EARL JONES SAYING I THOUGHT AT FIRST THAT THE STORY WAS A MUSEUM PIECE IN TERMS OF HOW IT APPLIED TO YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY. THE GREAT GENTLENESS THAT IS REPRESENTED BY KUMALO, I DIDN'T KNOW HOW THEY WOULD TAKE IT, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT TODAY THAT MANDELA IS IN OFFICE AND IS EXERCISING THAT GENTLENESS, THAT PATIENCE, THAT FORGIVENESS. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO SEE THIS FILM FOR US AS WELL IN THIS COUNTRY, IN L.A., PLACES LIKE THAT
- Embargoed: 7th November 1995 12:00
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA2OAKBZ67BPYZXWSOWSXM7JX6D
- Story Text: Nelson Mandela and Hillary Clinton were guests of honour at the world premiere of the film "Cry, the Beloved Country" in New York on Monday (October 23).
The South African president and the U.S. first lady were warmly welcomed by the audience, which included the film's stars, Richard Harris and James Earl Jones.
The movie, one of the first to originate from the newly democratic South Africa, is based on the book by South African writer Alan Paton.
It tells the story of a Zulu country parson who travels to Johannesburg in search of his son who has been jailed for the murder of a white man.
Richard Harris stars as a conservative farmer whose views are changed with the death of his son and the grief he shares with the parson, played by James Earl Jones.
Harris told Reuters Television the film had the twin themes of emancipation and unification.
Hillary Clinton told the audience the successful struggle for unity depicted in the film posed a challenge to the United States.
"If it could be done in a country that is struggling to overcome so many challenges, when can't we, in the richest, most blessed country in the world, do more to heal ourselves," she asked.
Mandela himself has a special link to the film because Alan Paton was one of the people at his treason trial who gave evidence in mitigation.
Mandela said the film evoked strong emotions about South Africa's terrible past, but also stood as a monument to the future.
He said Paton had vividly captured his faith in the goodness of people in the work.
Paton was an outspoken critic of apartheid and led the Liberal party from 1955 until 1968 when the National party banned multi-racial political parties.
He died of cancer in 1988, before he could see his dreams of a non-racial South Africa fufilled with the abolition of Apartheid and the first democratic election.
It was the second time Mandela has seen the film. He attended a special sneak preview in Johannesburg earlier this month.
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