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South Africa’s Apartheid. Cry, the Beloved Country . Outline. Historical Background: Apartheid –institutionalized The Film: General Introduction The two fathers’ experience Rev Stephen Kumalo’s Experience James Jarvis The ending and how it is different from the novel

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south africa s apartheid

South Africa’s Apartheid

Cry, the Beloved Country

  • Historical Background: Apartheid –institutionalized
  • The Film: General Introduction
  • The two fathers’ experience
    • Rev Stephen Kumalo’s Experience
    • James Jarvis
  • The ending and how it is different from the novel
  • US vs. South Africa
apartheid institutionalized
Apartheid --institutionalized
  • 1948 –Apartheid institutionalized since Afrikaner Nationalists won the election;
  • a method of “divide and rule” to counteract the so-called "black danger" Afrikaner rulers saw Africans as threatening to overrun or engulf them by their sheer numbers.
  • Brutal racism: imprisonment, police killings and murder (e.g. confiscation of property and the forced removal of millions of blacks )
  • Other examples of the laws -- Population Registration Act; Group Areas Act; The Bantu Authorities Act (or Homeland Act)
  • Passes: Black men and women, or even people who appeared to possibly be black, were required by law to carry passes at all times stating who they were and why they belonged in a certain area.
consequences shantytown lack of resources and tsosti
Consequences: Shantytown, Lack of Resources and Tsosti
  • E. g. Sophiatown, Soweto near Johannesburg
    • In crowded, often unsanitary, and potentially dehumanizing living conditions;
    • Materials used for the houses-- corrugated tin, newspaper, cardboard boxes, and whatever else could be found to keep out wind and rain.
    • "Most of the yards had a single lavatory and one tap which were shared by 150 to 200 residents" (Mattera, p. 50).
  • Education: 1938 -- fewer than one-third of the country's black school-aged children were actually enrolled in schools.
  • Tsotsi – the many black youths who turned to street hustling (theft or murder). E.g. Cry, the Beloved Country -- Absalom Kumalo.
examples cry the beloved country 1995
Examples: Cry, the Beloved Country (1995)
  • Setting: (written in 1947 by Alan Paton), post WWII Johannesburg
  • An aging Zulu pastor goes there to search for his son, as well as his brother and sister, only to find the son guilty of murdering a white man who was devoted to the cause of racial justice.  the relations between the two fathers.
  • Question: Do the two fathers change themselves in their respective quests? How do reconciliation and understanding bewteen them happen?
examples cry the beloved country 1995 characters
Examples: Cry, the Beloved Country (1995): Characters
  • Rev Stephen Kumalo 本片主角之一 住在一個鄉下部落村莊 (tribal village), Ndotsheni﹐到約翰尼斯堡尋找兒子;
  •         Absalom-他的兒子;
  •         John Kumalo-- Rev. Kumalo’s brother, who becomes a political dissident.
  •         James Jarvis 本片另一主角; 他的兒子Arthur 被一個小偷意外射殺﹐而這個小偷正好就是Rev. Kumalo的兒子。
  • Ian Jarvis, Mary Jarvis, Arthur
  •         Theophilus Msimangu
rev stephen kumalo s experience
Rev Stephen Kumalo’s Experience
  • Problems in the countryside: Hunger and poverty in the black tribes  Urban migration  the breaking of African tribes (Kumalo’s brother John, sister Gertrude and son Absolom; Kubeso’s daughter );
  • poor living conditions of the blacks in the city
    • cheated upon arrival;
    • Gertrude – in search of her husband, a prostitute beyond rescue;
    • John (carpenter) – involved in political activism, but betrayed Absolom for his own son
  • Search for the son:Alexander  Orlando (where the squatters are)  reformatory crime committed out of fear.
  • Tsotsi, -fear and shame.
  • ""There is fear in the land. And fear in the hearts of all who live there. And fear puts an end to understanding and the need to understand. So how shall we fashion such a land when there is fear in the heart? The white man will put more locks on his door and get a fine fierce dog, but the beauty of the trees and of the stars, these things we shall forego.
  • "Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply.

Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him of all if his gives too much. Yes cry, cry, the beloved country.".”

rev stephen kumalo s experience1
Rev Stephen Kumalo’s Experience
  • Accepts “the truth” (vs. John) ; no need for a lawyer
  • Accepts the son’s woman and their child.
  • Cries a lot; forbearance; Debate: culpable homicide vs. murder
  • What do you think about Kumalo’s response? Is Absalom guilty?
  • The system is to blame?
james jarvis
James Jarvis
  • Anger –revenge;
  • He said that we called ourselves Christian, but what we mean is that we are white.
  • Encountering Kumalo: “fear” Jarvis: “You need not be afraid of me.” (Lack of recognition)
  • ”I understand what I did not understand. There is no anger in me.”
ending reconciliation conditional help and regeneration
Ending: Reconciliation, Conditional Help and Regeneration
  • Symbols: the name Absalom, rain and the land; encounter at the church (shelter)
  • "For it is the dawn that has come,

as it has come for a thousand centuries, never failing. But when that dawn will come, of our emancipation, from the fear of bondage and the bondage of fear, why, that is a secret.”