In My Country Movie Review

A fictional narrative created to encompass several storiesthat personify the nation-altering emotional crux of South Africa's Truthand Reconciliation hearings, "In My Country" accomplishes itsgoal -- but does so largely through obvious plot devices.

JulietteBinoche and Samuel L. Jackson give strong, movingperformances as two journalists -- one Afrikaner, one African-American-- covering the gut-wrenching testimony as the oppressed came face-to-facewith their oppressors during these historical early-1990s committees, heldall over the upended nation as it transitioned from apartheid to democracy.But it's too obvious that their characters are designed to represent (orat least be acquainted with) particular points of view that must come toa symbolic accord for the country's race issues to be resolved.

She comes from an enlightened perspective about equality,but her rich, white family is nervous about living in the new South Africa-- and of course they have skeletons in their closets that soon come tolight. He has a huge chip on his shoulder about race relations, havinggrown up seeing America's Civil Rights movement pave the way for more equalitybefore the country developed a collective sense of denial about the lingeringdiscrimination still ingrained in its culture.

Whenever an opportunity is contrived to give them idletime together (a flat tire strands them in a remote area, they get drunkafter a tough day listening to shocking accounts of atrocities), the pairdebates the issues of justice and hope that "In My Country" isdesigned to address. And because this is a movie, they soon fall into ametaphorical romance.

Director John Boorman ("TheTailor of Panama," "The General")has his heart in the right place, but these moments, and many others, ringloudly of machination. At times Jackson's character seems to exist specificallyas a conduit, asking simplistic questions that allow locals to expresslarger truths and pronounce the film's central themes. This becomes evenmore apparent in scenes dispersed throughout the film of Jackson interviewinga particularly heinous racist (Brendan Gleeson) who is scheduled to arrogantlydefend his actions in the movie's finale.

"In My Country" does cut to the bone with itsdepictions of some terrible events described in the hearings that are centralto the plot, and Boorman's storytelling is effective, from Binoche's painednarration to the beautiful photography that seems to always be capturingsymbolic sunsets and sunrises over breathtaking vistas. But while the filmsucceeds in its emotional veracity, there is an underlying oversimplificationbetraying the fact that the truth and reconciliation of South Africa'spast is not something easily summed up in 104 minutes.


Comments

In My Country Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, Friday, March 11, 2005

Editors Recommendations

Is The Cannes Palme d'Or Heading David Cronenberg’s Way for 'Map to the Stars'?

The Cannes Film festival is sneaking up fast. The Oscars felt like they were 8 minutes ago...

Is The Cannes Palme d'Or Heading David Cronenberg’s Way for 'Map to the Stars'?

CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return of Outkast

Next weekend's CounterPoint Festival will be the event's first year at a new 5000-acre site, featuring...

CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return of Outkast

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - Not Perfect, But Really, Really Fun

Superhero movies have been striving towards the almost unobtainable goal set...

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - Not Perfect, But Really, Really Fun

Ricky Gervais is "Hooked" on David Brent Again - Former Paper Merchant To Return

A return for David Brent has been mooted ever since the character was wheeled...

Ricky Gervais is

This Labor Day, Jay Z Is Bringing "Made In America" To Downtown Los Angeles

Jay Z and the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti have announced that the rapper’s...

This Labor Day, Jay Z Is Bringing

Anna Wintour wants 'more exclusive' Met Ball 2014

The editor-in-chief of US VOGUE magazine is reportedly determined for the annual...

Anna Wintour - Anna Wintour wants 'more exclusive' Met Ball 2014

'Mrs Doubtfire' Sequel Will Be Made 21 Years After The Original

The comedy classic 'Mrs. Doubtfire' is reportedly set to return to the big-screen...

'Mrs Doubtfire' Sequel Will Be Made 21 Years After The Original

'Of Mice And Men' Brings Out Broadway Talents Of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Of Mice And Men premiered on Broadway last night, giving critics a chance to cast...

'Of Mice And Men' Brings Out Broadway Talents Of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'

Sofia Vergara has been speaking about her nerves at shooting a ménage a trois with...

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'


More recommendations