Cry Freedom (1987) Script


What is it? What is it?


No!


This is the English-language service of Radio South Africa.

Here is the news, read by Magnus Randall.

Police raided Crossroads, the illegal township near Cape Town this morning, after warning the squatters to vacate the area in the interests of public health.

Several people were found without work permits, and many are being sent back to their respective homelands.

There was no resistance to the raid and many illegals voluntarily presented themselves to the police.


I think you ought to have a look at him. Give me his chart.

Were you listening to the radio?

If they'd caught him, we'd have heard.

If the police had got Steve, especially with the posters in the car and everything,...

...you don't think that...? Is that mine, Sister?

You don't think that'd be the first news item?

No, because if the people know they have him, then they have to be more careful about how they treat him.

They think he's here. I must get back.

Let's have some coffee.

If the police in Cape Town had taken him, that lot would be the first to know.

I think he's hiding.

He was with Peter Jones, and Peter has no pass problem.

If Steve was arrested, Peter would have phoned me.

Pass the milk.

Finished, Mr. Woods?

Yes, thanks.


How'd you get these? Ah, we have ways.

Do we dare to print them? For these I'll risk it.

Yes, sir? Would you ask Tony to come in?

I'll even give you a by-line. You're a prince.

They put me away, yours'll be the first name on my lips. What about Mr. Biko?

Shall I use his name in the story? His picture was everywhere.

Think there was a meeting? There must have been one recently.

Biko couldn't have been there of course, but, one of his people, mouthing off about black consciousness,...

... that I'd say was almost a certainty. Uh, I've rejigged it just a bit.

No, leave him out of it. I want the police blamed for that raid.

I'll take care of Biko in an editorial. Yeah, yeah. Ok.

One bunch of lunatics saying white supremacy justifies anything, all we need is some black nutcase saying black supremacy's going to save the world.

I would like to know who's responsible for this.

May I ask who you are? Doctor Ramphele.

Doctor Ramphele.

I'll leave you.

I've read this paper long enough to know you're not one of the worst, so, it's all the more baffling, that you would try to pass this vicious fiction off as reasoned fact.

Ah, well, Doctor... Ramphele.

Ramphele.

I've stuck my neck out on this paper to take a stand against white prejudice.

But if you think that means I'll go soft, on some sensationalist pushing black prejudice, well, you've brought your complaint to the wrong man.

Black prejudice?

That's not what Steve's about at all.

Your Mr. Biko is building a wall of black hatred in South Africa,...

...and I will fight him as long as I sit in this chair.

What you do in that chair is put words in his mouth.

And you know he can't answer because he's banned.

I believe I know what Mr. Biko is about. Well, you believe wrong!

And he can't come to you.

If you were the honest newsman you claim to be, you ought to go and see him.

Look...

Where are you from?

From South Africa.

But I was one of two, to be granted a scholarship to Natal Medical School.

I'm a...

...a token of your white paternalistic concern, for the natives of this land.

Well, I'm glad we didn't waste our money.

I know you're not a fool, Mr. Woods...

But you are uninformed.

Steve Biko is one of the few people who can still save South Africa.

He's in King William's Town right now.

That's his banning area.


Good morning. Good morning.

LEOPOLD STREET, KING WILLIAM'S TOWN


Mr. Donald Woods? Yes, I'm Donald Woods.

I'm Steve's wife. Please, come in. He's expecting you.

Thank you.

But we're glad you could come.

Father Russell got this for us.

You see, we're trying to make a kind of community centre, where black people can meet, maybe have classes.

The new dyes have arrived at last. Good, tell Tsinki.

This way. Who's this one?

Oh, he's just a little rascal like his father, and even more trouble.

You'll find him out there.

Steve Biko?

Are you Steve Biko? I am.


I would have met you in the church, but, as you know, I can only be with one person at a time.

You see, if a third person comes into the room, even to bring coffee, that breaks the ban.

And the system, the police, are just across the road.

But, of course, you would approve of my banning.

No, I think your ideas are dangerous, but, no, I don't approve of banning.

A true liberal.

It's not a title I'm ashamed of, though I know you regard it with some contempt.

I just think that a white liberal,...

...who clings to all the advantages of his white world; jobs, housing, education... Mercedes...

...is perhaps not best qualified to tell blacks how they should react to apartheid.

I wonder what sort of liberal you'd make, Mr. Biko, if you were the one who had the job, the house and the Mercedes, and the whites lived in townships.

It's a charming idea.

It was good of you to come, Mr. Woods.

I've wanted to meet you for a long time.


They follow you everywhere?

They think they do.

So this is it? Yes, this is it.

A clinic for black people, staffed by black people, run by a black doctor.

Was this her idea or yours?

Come on, let me show you around.

It was a collective idea, but we were lucky to have her.

And a white liberal doctor doing the same thing wouldn't serve your purpose?

When I was a student, trying to qualify for the jobs you people will let us have,...

...I suddenly realised it wasn't just good jobs that were white.

The only history we read was made by the white man, written by the white man.

Televisions, cars, medicines, all invented by the white man.

Even football. Now, in a world like that, it's not hard to believe there's something inferior about being born black.

We grow most of our own food here, for the patients and some of the staff.

And the church? Oh, that was here long before us.

But I began to think this idea of inferiority was an even bigger problem for us than what the Afrikaners were doing to us.

That the black man had to believe he had as much capacity to be a doctor, a leader, as a white man. So we tried to set this place up.

My own mistake was to put some of those ideas down on paper.

And the government banned you.

And the fighting liberal editor started attacking me.

I attacked you for being racist.

How old are you, Mr. Woods? 41, if that makes any difference.

Ah.

A white South African, 41 years old, a newspaper man.

Have you ever spent any time in a black township?

I've been to many... No, don't be embarrassed.

Except for the police, I don't think one white South African in 10,000 has.

You see, we know how you live.

We cut your lawns, we cook your food, clean your rubbish.

How would you like to see how we live?

The 90% of your countrymen who have to get off your streets at 6 o'clock at night?

Jane! Yes, Mum?

Put the strawberries in the fridge. Ok, then I'll come down.

All right, dear.

What time did you get back? I'd given up on you.

Half an hour ago. I've already had a swim.

Mummy, Mummy, look what Alice gave me!

Oh, isn't that nice? And what did you give her?

Nothing. You terrible girl.

Well? You were right.

What was he like?

They've built a damn clinic up there. Dillon!

She's the doctor. You should see it. People come from miles.

How did they raise the money?

Some local money from the community, a lot of church money from overseas, and even the mining companies.

South African mining companies?

Yes. Apparently, someone important heard him make a speech that impressed him.

Thanks, Evalina. He is impressive.

Master?

He hasn't talked you into black consciousness?

No. But I have agreed to let him take me to a black township. He'll educate me.

He's banned. How could he take you anywhere?

I'm not sure.

You really think this is worth the risk? The education of a white liberal?

If you get caught out of your banning area, well...

All he might have to do is write a letter to his board of directors.

I don't want them to get you in a jail.

You tell David he promised to finish that table today.

I won't get caught. He gets no tea till he does.

I need some money from the cash box.

No, you won't get caught, if some paid informer doesn't run to the police.

It's in the drawer. It's open.

We'll make a working man of you yet, Steve Biko.

How do you want to do this?

Ask Thabo to come over. I'll turn on the desk light.

Mapetla will occupy the system for a few minutes, I'll slip out, Thabo will sit in my seat.

I'm glad I wasn't your mother.


Now look, look, I was born in a tribal homeland.

Transkei, my dad had a store there.

I'm not half as uncomfortable as you think.

As a liberal, if you had your way, you'd be riding buses and taxis, just like us.

You tell me my days of white privilege are numbered, so I'll enjoy them while I can.

Run, son, run.

It's a miracle a child survives here at all.

Most of the women who have work permits are domestic maids,...

...so they only get to see their kids for a couple of hours on Sundays.

The place is full of drunks, thuggery,...

...people so desperate for anything they'll beat a kid bloody if he had five rand.

Was that kid you, a few years ago?

Yeah. Maybe more scared.

But if you do run fast enough,...

...if you do survive, you grow up in these streets, these houses.

Your parents try, but in the end, you only get the education the white man will give you.

Then you go to the city to work, or to shop,...

...and you see their streets, their cars, their houses, and you begin to feel there is something not quite right about yourself,...

...about your humanity.

Something to do with your blackness.

Because no matter how dumb or smart a white child is, he's born into that world.

But you, the black child?

Smart or dumb, you're born into this.

And smart or dumb, you'll die in it.


I thought that most shebeen queens were informers.

Yeah, they are. If they weren't, the police would close down this place just like that.

But you see, it's only some things they inform on. Others, they don't bother.

Anyway, we're ok here. This one's wild about Steve.

You see, he has that way with women.

He's very articulate. Where did he get his education?

He's never been inarticulate,...

...but his father died, and when he was 17 he was taken into a mission school.


You know,...

...most of these guys, they're living in a bed out there on their own.

No work permit, no residence permit.

A man and wife who can't find work in the same white town, are not allowed to live together in the same black township.

You split up black families,...

...so that for thousands of husbands and wives, if they see each other once a year, they're lucky.

You keep saying "you". You're talking about the Afrikaner government.

Don't blame all the whites for apartheid.

How many live-in maids do you have, Mr. Woods?

One, but she doesn't... Don't pick on him.

He's here to have a good time. Come on, drink up. Cheers.

Look, I'm not defending what's been done, but he's the one who's against liberals.

We're trying to move towards integration.

Of course. You want to give us a slightly better education, so that we can get slightly better jobs.

At first maybe, but... I won't be forced into your society.

I'm going to be me as I am, and you can beat me, or jail me, or even kill me,...

...but I am not going to be what you want me to be.

The best you want for us is to be allowed to sit at your table,... using your silver and your china, and if we can learn to use it like you do, then you will kindly let us stay.

We want to wipe the whole table clean.

It's an African table, and we will sit at it in our own right.

You must remember, before you arrived we had our own culture.

We had many villages, small.

You know our language, Mr. Woods.

The word we use for nephew is "my brother's son".

Tenjy calls my wife, not aunt, but "mother's sister".

We've no separate words for members of the family.

All begin with "brother" and "sister".

We took care of each other.

We got a lot of things right, which your society never solved.

You did have tribal wars in this land of yours.

Well, what do you call World War I and World War II?

You use words very cleverly, but there's something about it that scares me.

Of course there is, because in your world anything white is normal.

The way the world is supposed to be.

And your real genius, is that for years you've managed to convince most of us of that too.

Could you ask Tony to come in?

Ken, this is Tenjy Mtinsto and Mapetla Mohapi.

They're from King William's Town.

Yes, sir? Could you come in?

I'm glad to say that yesterday the board approved their appointments to the staff.

Brief them on our copy rules.

Can you take them upstairs to see Bob? Will you come this way?

Tell him to give them their assignments for tomorrow.

I want you to teach them how to use our cameras.

I... where... where are they going to work?

In the newsroom.

Does this Biko practise black magic as well?

I'm not sure, but I think this is worth a try.

They'll cover the real black news. Things we've never reported.

It's not illegal, and it'll bring new readers.

The white readership will be delighted.

And when they start ranting on about black consciousness... Shit!

Yeah. Just remember my blue pencil still determines what goes in this paper.

Yes, of course it does. Yes, boss.

Ken. Yeah?

You like football, don't you?

And sure... sure as hell,...

...he's paying people to stir up trouble between us.

Because when we fight amongst ourselves, he can say;

"See? They aren't fit to run their own lives!"

Then he can go on telling us where to live, and how to live.

He can pay us nothing, and pass his laws without listening to one word we say.

And, remember, they killed over 400 black students last year.

We've got to stick together.

As one people, we have to make the white man know that his free ride on the back of black labour is over, finished.

Now... now we've got a surprise for you.

He's a little modest...

...but you listen to what he has to say.

Listen, people.

This is the biggest illegal gathering I've ever seen.

I heard what the last speaker had to say... and I agree.

We are going to change South Africa.

All we've got to decide is the best way to do that.

And as angry as we have the right to be,...

...let us remember... that we are in this struggle to kill the idea...

...that one kind of man is superior to another kind of man.

And killing that idea is not dependent on the white man.

We must stop looking to him to give us something.

We have to fill the black community with our own pride.

We have to teach our children black history,...

...tell them about our black heroes, our black culture,...

...so they don't face the white man believing they are inferior.

Then... we'll stand up to him any way he chooses.

Conflict if he likes, but with an open hand too,...

...to say that we can all build a South Africa worth living in.

A South Africa for equals... black or white.

A South Africa as beautiful as this land is,...

...as beautiful as we are.

That's the one who made the speech.

Sit down.

You know I don't advocate violence, De Wet,...

...but don't make the mistake of treating me without respect.

Don't tell me what to do, Kaffir.

Out of your banning area? Talking to a crowd?

You won't be a witness at that trial.

You'll be up there on the stand with your friends.

Inciting racial hatred.

On whose words? Hm? What's his name?

Captain De Wet, you are not going to send me to a Pretoria court...

...on the evidence of a paid informer in a cardboard box, are you?

Everyone knows those kind would say whatever you wanted them to say.

You're a bit of poison, Biko, and I'm going to see you're put away.

Not on that kind of testimony, you won't.

Don't.


No, men.

He has to appear as a witness for the defence.

We don't want it to look like anything happened to him.

You're lucky, Biko. Lucky.

I just expect to be treated like you expect to be treated.

You and your big-headed ideas.

If you're afraid of ideas, you'd better quit now.

We'll never quit.

Come on! What are you so afraid of?

Once you try, you'll see there's nothing to fear.

We're just as weak and human as you are.

We're going to catch you red-handed one day, then we'll see how human you are.

I quote:

"I believe South Africa's a country in which black and white should live together. "

Those are your words. What does it mean?

It means that I, and those gentlemen in the dock,...

...believe that South Africa is a plural society,...

...with contributions to be made by all segments of the community.

Mm-hm.

Are you familiar with the language in the documents the accused have discussed with black groups?

Yes, since some of those documents were drawn up by me. - The one;

"Noting with concern and disgust the naked terrorism of the government"?

That is correct. You say "naked terrorism".

Do you honestly think that is a valid statement?

I think it is a far more valid statement than the charges against these men here.

Really? - Yes, really. I'm not talking about words.

I'm talking about the violence in which, people are baton-charged by police, beaten up.

I'm talking about police firing on unarmed people.

I'm talking about the indirect violence you get through starvation.

I'm talking about the hopelessness, the desolation of the transit camps.

Now, I think that, all put together, that constitutes more terrorism than the words these men have spoken here.

But they stand charged,...

...and white society is not charged.

When you and others in black consciousness speak, you say;

"Our true leaders have been banned and imprisoned on Robben Island. "

Who are you referring to specifically?

I specifically would refer to people like Mandela, Sobukive, to people like Govan Mbeki.

And is it not true that the common factor with these people, is that they have advocated violence against the government?

The common factor with these people is that they have selflessly pushed forward the struggle of the black man.

So, your answer to this so-called "naked terrorism"...

...is to provoke violence in the black community?

No, our movement seeks to avoid violence.

But your own words call for direct confrontation!

That's right. We demand confrontation.

Isn't that a demand for violence?

Well, you and I are now in confrontation, but I see no violence.

But nowhere in these documents...

...do you say that the white government is doing anything good.

It does so little good, my lord, that it is not worth commenting on.

But, surely that approach...

...inflames racial hatred and anti-whiteism?

My lord, blacks are not unaware of the hardships they endure,...

...or what the government is doing to them.

We want them to stop accepting these hardships...

...to confront them.

People must not just give in to the hardships of life.

They must find a way, even in this environment, to...

...to develop hope.

Hope for themselves,...

...hope for this country.

Now, I think that is what black consciousness is all about.

Now, without any reference to the white man,...

...to try and build up a sense of our own...

...humanity,...

...our legitimate place in the world.


Rip the telephone out.

Go and help them finish off.

This will show the bastards.

Lord, it's warm.

Donald, go to Kruger.

He says he'll fight police illegality. We'll take him up on it.

Kruger? He'd probably give them a medal.

Mamphela, whatever his prejudices, he won't condone this sort of thing publicly.

Oh, won't he? I'll bet you he'll find an excuse for it.

You're positive it was Captain De Wet?

You're positive it was Captain De Wet? - Yes, I am.

Where's Steve?

He went to the clinic to draw off the security police.

He didn't want anyone seeing Dilima talking to you.

Donald, fly to Pretoria.

The local police will only laugh at you here.


Ah, Mr. Woods. You found your way.

Good morning, sir.

The minister of police, and I walk right into your grounds, not a soul in sight.

Uh, perhaps not in sight, but if you weren't expected...

Come in, come in. I'm just having a drink. Will you join me?

Yes, thank you. What are you having? I'm on a whisky myself.

That'll be fine. I want to thank you for seeing me at the weekend.

Ach, it's nothing, man.

I always like to help the press if I can.

Now, what is it you wanted to see me about? Cheers.

Cheers.

Sit down.

Thank you. It's a matter concerning Steve Biko.

Biko? My God, man, I know all about Steve Biko.

Minister, I don't understand why he's banned.

You need a black leader you can talk to.

Look... I don't need to tell you this country has a special kind of problem.

Shit, man, do you think I like banning and detaining people without trial?

I'm a lawyer. It goes against the grain.

Come. Come, I want to show you something, Mr. Woods.

We Afrikaners came here in 1652.

200 years before there was any such thing as a camera.

And yet look at this. The trek across the wilderness.

The homesteading.

The concentration camps the English put our families in during the Boer War.

The working of the land.

The building of the cities.

And any Afrikaner family could show you the same thing.

We didn't colonise this country, Mr. Woods, we built it.

Grandfather Johannes, a formidable drinker.

Do you think we're going to give that all up?

That's what Mr. Biko wants.

This is a black country, he says. God...

...what's here was built as much by Afrikaner blood and toil as by the blacks,...

...who came to us for work, remember.

We didn't force anyone to labour.

They had very little alternative, since you'd taken over most of the land.

Wouldn't you say their cheap labour had an effect on the success of our economy?

I know what you're saying. Don't think I don't understand their argument. I do.

We know there has to be a way to work together and live together, and we're trying to find one. Maybe a little too slow to suit some of them.

But it's no use your Mr. Biko filling them with false expectations.

We're not just going to roll over and give all this away.

Listen, trust me. Let's sit in the shade.

I know a lot more about Mr. Biko than you do, Mr. Woods.

Is that what you wanted to see me about?

Well, no. Actually, it's... But if that's your recommendation,...

...if you think it's worth it, I'll certainly consider meeting him.

How's your drink? I'm fine. I really think you should.

I know you'll find him more moderate and more intelligent than you believe.

But what I've come about is an incident that occurred at a community centre, Biko was trying to put together.

The place was smashed up the other night.

Yes, I know about that. My police are investigating it.

Your police are the ones who did it.

What makes you say that?

An eyewitness saw a security-police captain, and some of his men smashing the place up.

Will he testify?

He's afraid to.

But I felt it would be more effective if you took some action internally.

You've always stated you were against any illegality by your officers.

My God, I am.

I appreciate your attitude, Mr. Woods.

I assure you this is something I'll pursue.

I want no thugs in my department.

Don't be surprised.

Ach, we're not really the monsters we're sometimes made out to be.

It's all right, Evalina, I'll get it.

Get back, Charlie.

Mr. Donald Woods? Charlie.

I'm Donald Woods.

You made a complaint to the minister of police.

Yes. It's all right.

Come on, Charlie. That's prompt. I saw him yesterday.

You had a witness to the alleged crime?

That's right. I explained to Mr. Kruger that I couldn't name him, but there definitely...

You reported a crime, Mr. Woods, and the law states you must name the witness.

No, you don't understand. You must name the witness, or you will go to prison until you do.

That is the law.

I don't want to go back to Mr. Kruger and report that two...

You report to whoever you like.

Our orders, Mr. Woods, come from the very top.

Kruger.

I didn't say Mr. Kruger.

I said from the top.

Next time he sends you, you'd better have a warrant.

The law is on our side. Yes, well, justice is on mine.

We'll see how we make out in court.

And tell Mr. Kruger he must come to my house for a whisky one day.


Steve!

Stay still. - Stay in the middle and we'll cover you.

No, it's ok. It's ok, boys. It's ok.

You're a dirty player, Biko.

I was taught by a Catholic priest.

What do you expect?

Are you alone? Yes.

Who told you I was here? Your wife.

She didn't tell me where the police thought you were.

Well, we planted a phone call saying I was going to spend the afternoon, going over the books at the clinic.

Got my summons today.

They're actually going to prosecute.

Six months for withholding the name of a witness.

I think they want to break up our friendship.

A few months in jail might be just what you need...

...to prove your credibility as a budding activist.

Yeah, well, I got my old law professor, Harold Levy, to defend me.

He's the best. You want one?

Oh, yeah, thanks. But I'm not going to name Dilima, whatever happens.

But Kruger obviously means business. They always mean business against us.

Some day we'll be the damn system in this country.

A lot of us are going to die for nothing...

...if our system turns us into nothing but black versions of theirs.

I could accept that.

A bent policeman is a bent policeman, Soga.

He breaks the same heads for the same reasons.

To substitute a black one for a white one,...

...it's not worth the price of one child.

Never mind the six months in jail for Mr. Woods.

Are you sure this is the right house? Yes, it is.


We have reason to believe you are in possession of subversive documents.

We have orders to search these premises.

Do you have a warrant?

Good.

Well, bring it to the window over there and I'll read it.

Psst.

Put Mapetla's article with them.

Ok.

Could you hold it up, please?

Fine. Just turn the page, please.

Could you read a little faster?

Well, it appears to be in order, but you won't find any such papers in my house.

We'll see.

All right, as soon as my wife is properly dressed, I'll let you in.

In there.


Stoffle! Let's go.

I told you you wouldn't find anything.

We'll be back.

I think we should rescue them now.

Dadu. Dadu.

Finally the prosecution finished,...

...and the whole courtroom thought that I was as good as in jail.

Does that mean that you're going to prison, Dad?

You'd like that, wouldn't you?

No, you see, then Uncle Harold began his cross-examination.

He began by pointing out that the wording of the charge itself was not proper,...

...that the dates were all inaccurate,...

...that the precedents they'd cited applied to totally different situations.

Quiet, Charlie.

We're here to check your pass. Just leave your door open.

Donald! Donald, they're after Evalina.

Donald, it's the police. They're after Evalina.

Donald, what are you doing? Jane, go up to Mary.

Yeah, right, Dad.

Charlie! Donald...

What the hell are you doing here? We want to see her passbook.

It's all right, master. At this time of night?

That's when they have their boyfriends in.

You're talking to a married woman, and I...

Master, I'll find it.

We've asked this Bantu female... Woman! Bastard.

She's a woman, not a Bantu female.

We can question Bantu any time. It's our job.

There may be an illegal male in there.

You're on my property.

Ach... you think you're a big editor who can get away with anything.

I think I'm a man who's found two intruders in his back yard.

Master...

Kom, Kobus. We'll see about this.

Go on, piss off.

You all right? Yes, master. Thank you.

Sipo can bring the children here whenever you want.

Yes, master.

You're mad, Donald Woods.

I'm also shaking like a leaf.

Get your own strawberry. If I got strawberry, then you wouldn't be able to taste my chocolate.

I was just being considerate, you know?

You have a little of mine and I'll have a little of yours.

What's the matter?

Ken! Ken, be careful!

They may just beat him up to try and scare him off the paper,...

...but it's more pressure they're putting on.

I'm afraid they'll use him as an example so that no other black...

God, what the hell are you doing? I want to know about Mapetla. Hi.

Coming into a white area? This is my country. I go where I like.

He's heard about Mapetla. Oh, yes. Did you drive yourself here?

No, no. Peter's driving.

I put Harold Levy on it, but they wouldn't tell him anything.

Sit down.

All being well, I'm going to Cape Town in a couple of days.

When I come through I'll drop off what I want to write about the arrest. Thanks.

Maybe you'll publish it?

Cape Town, Steve... You must be out of your mind.

Well, it's a... it's a meeting of black students there. An important one.

And before they take a stand I want them to hear what I have to say.

Right, we'll print the news of Tenjy's arrest.

We'll put it on the front page.

What's up, boss?

Mapetla's dead.

They claim he hanged himself in his cell.

I'm going to remake the front page.

Donald Woods. Hello, Donald.

A piece of news.

The day before Mapetla died,...

...the police showed another prisoner a puppet of Mapetla...

...hanging from a string.

Shit.

Steve, I don't know what to say.

Just say that some day justice will be done.

And let's hope it will not be visited on the innocent.

You shouldn't go to Cape Town.

It's too dangerous.

It's a dangerous country.


Keys and papers, eh.

I can't get the bloody thing open.

What you got in there? Nothing.

What's wrong? I think they got something in here.

Out!

Papers.

What's your name, Kaffir?

It's there in the book. Say it!

Say your name!

Bantu Stephen Biko.

18TH AUGUST 1977


11TH SEPTEMBER 1977


I think...

I think he should see a specialist.

Could he be shamming?

The extensor plantar reflex...

...indicates a possible lesion on the brain.

Could he be shamming? You can't sham a reflex, sir.

And the lumbar puncture that Doctor Hersch took...

...revealed an excess of red blood cells in the spinal fluid.

Well, that also points to...

Well, it's a possible sign of serious brain damage.

Has he eaten, Sergeant?

Gone to the toilet?

No, not today.

He must be seen by a specialist.

We'll take him to the police hospital in Pretoria.

But that's 700 miles.

He might escape from the hospital here. I want him in a police hospital.

Open up.


Go by way of Seymour.

If you take breaks, one man stays with Biko all the time. Goodbye.


PRETORIA, 12TH SEPTEMBER 1977, STEVE BIKO DIES IN CUSTODY


So Biko's death leaves me cold!

He died after a hunger strike!

Mr. Chairman!

Mr. Chairman!

Mr. Chairman, I commend the minister for being so democratic, that he gives prisoners the democratic right to starve themselves.

I suppose one feels sorry for any death.

I suppose I would feel sorry about my own death.


How did you get permission?

I didn't. If I asked, it would tip them off, and they might move him.

I've checked the law. I don't think they'll dare stop us.

But this is a special case. There's been no inquest yet.

I'm afraid there's no possibility... Not special at all.

The law is quite clear.

The next of kin have a right to see the deceased.

Now, Mr. Biko's death has caused enough uproar in the press already,...

...but if you'd like to create another issue for the front page, I'll be happy to comply.


Steve.

Steve...

What have they done to you?

We must hurry, Ntsiki, before he notifies the police.

Don't let them frighten you, Mr. Woods.

All right.

From every angle.

His whole body.

You and Wendy will come to the funeral, won't you?

Well, would his other friends...

Would we be welcome?

Yes, Donald.

You and Wendy are our brother and sister.


We are here to mourn one of the great men of Africa.

Power!

I love Steve Biko, but I hate the system that killed him.

Even today, the day of Steve Biko's funeral, in their white arrogance, they have turned back thousands who sought to come here simply to pay their respect to him.

But we are here!

I hate the system...

...but I welcome all South Africans who join with us today...

...in mourning the man who gave us all faith in the kind of country South Africa could be.

The kind of country South Africa will be...

...when all men are judged as human beings, as equal members of God's family.

And towards this day...

...when the isolation that creates hostility...

...becomes the closeness that permits friendship and love,...

...let us all join in the song of Africa...

...that Steve Biko cherished as we do.

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo Yizwa imithandazo yethu Nkosi sikelela Nkosi sikelela Do you understand the words?

Yes, it's a...

"God bless Africa. Raise up her name. "

"Hear our prayers, and bless us. "

Nkosi Sikelela Thina lusapho lwayo Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso O fedise dintwa la matshwenyeho Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso O fedise dintwa la matshwenyeho O se boloke O se boloke O se boloke O se boloke Setjhaba sa heso Setjhaba sa Afrika Setjhaba sa Afrika Power!

The fact is that Biko had gone on a hunger strike.

We tried to feed him by intravenous drip, with a tube in his arm.

I don't know about these things. I'm not a doctor.

That was the minister of police, Mr. Kruger, speaking from his home.

Yes, hello.

Is that you, Donald?

All right, you traitor. You black-loving bitch.

We know you're alone. We're coming to get you.

Mum, I can't sleep.

Was that Dad?

No.

More threats.

Police?

They're the only ones we know are doing it.

When Daddy gets back from Johannesburg, we ought to put a tape-recording machine on the telephone, and then print what they say in the paper.

There'd have to be a lot of blanks and dashes.

Well, I'm going downstairs to make some coffee.

No, don't go.

Mum, what is it?

Mum, shall we call someone? You just stay up here.


Believe me, 30 years in the police force you know one when you see one.

Tell Donald... Uncle Don, here's another one.

They're all from a .32.

One of us will stay here until he gets back. I'll prove my ex-colleagues did this.

What good will that do? None.

But it'll make me feel better that they know we know.

Look, Mum, one went right through your window.

Dead right. They're mad enough about the speeches you're making here.

You should read the Afrikaans press in Cape Town.

You stir up trouble overseas and they'll come down on you like a ton of bricks.

Donald, you know my opinion. I think it's madness.

And even if they do let you out, take my word for it, they'll arrest you the minute you get back. I would've done.

Look, here or there, we're going to force them to have an inquest.

They can't arrest me there, but a lecture tour in the States will stir up pressure.

If you were a lawyer, you know, getting support for the law, that's one thing.

But you're going to talk about Biko. I'm telling you, they won't stop at niceties.

Look... Kruger lied.

If we expose it, they're going to have to admit how Steve really died.

I'm going.

If one of you will stay with Wendy and the kids, I'm not worried.

In fact, the more publicity I get, the safer I'll be.

19TH OCTOBER 1977

I'll phone you when I get there.

Calling Dr Steiner, travelling to Paris, to the first-class counter, please.

Donald Woods? That's right.

We're from security police. Would you come with us, please?

This is the final call for passengers travelling on BA...

Don't worry about that. You won't be on the flight.

But my cases are. We've taken them off.

You, Donald James Woods,...

...are declared a banned person, in terms of the Internal Security Act.

Henceforth, and for a period of five years, you are forbidden to associate with more than one person at a time. or be in a room with more than one person at a time,...

...except for the members of your immediate family.

You are forbidden to write anything, whether privately or for publication.

You are forbidden to enter any printing or publishing premises of any kind.

And are restricted for that five years, to the magisterial district of East London.

Kruger's really gone crazy.

You reckon you know what happened to Steve Biko, eh?

I saw his body.

And those pictures you've confiscated,...

...14 sets have already been released to the world press.

Arresting and banning me is a stupid thing to do.

Now the minister of police has guaranteed a world spotlight on the Biko inquest.

I have two small children, Mr. Woods, and I think about the future.

So tell me, what would you do?

I have children too.

But the days of a few whites running a black country are over.

It's going to change...

...in partnership or bloodshed.

For your white children and mine, I hope it's in partnership.

Huh. With the likes of Biko?

God, I hope with the likes of Biko.

I'd have met you in the church, but as you know, I can only be with one person at a time.

And the system, the police, are just across the road.

You're playing with fire. You know the house is bugged.

One slip of the tongue, a surprise raid, and then...

What you've written about Steve is treason.

If I get caught smuggling it out, we'd both get what Nelson Mandela got, or what... you know... you know, what happened to Steve.

And no one would ever know. So you think I've done it all for nothing?

Well, what I think is that you should destroy what you've written, now,...

...or get yourself out of South Africa with that manuscript.

Not just for, well... but for their sakes too.

Leave here? Permanently?

In actual fact,...

...one or the other.

What do you mean, we've got to leave?

Bruce contacted a publisher in England.

They want my book.

Father Kani is right.

When it comes out, the government will see it as treason.

We can't stay.

I don't believe this.

Because you want a book published,...

...you're going to rip the kids from their schools,...

...their grandparents, their whole life?

Don't you even bother to find out what I'd like to do?

We may hate the bastards that run this country, but this is still our home.

What do you want to do?

Just accept Steve's death? Accept what the government's doing and will go on doing?

What more do you want to do? You forced the inquest. You're banned!

Are you so grand you think you can change them all on your own?

I'll do what I can. I certainly won't sit in that house for five years and do nothing!

And to hell with us? What do we do? Where do we go?

Donald, we've got five children. We couldn't take a penny out of here.

I know you.

You're willing to tear our lives apart just to see Donald Woods on a book cover.

And you're using Steve's death as an excuse.

Bloody hell!

Jane, can I go in again? Mary, go and get dry.


Can we talk about this?

I'm sorry I was so cruel.

No, you were right.

I want a book published.

I do.

But if Steve...

...if Steve died for nothing,...

...if we let them just bury his name...

Who do you think you are? God?

No, there's just no other writer who knows Steve's story like I do. It's just a fact.

There are seven of us.

Donald, you're 43 years old.

What will one book do?

And do you think they're going to let us walk out?

We could get killed trying to escape, and still you wouldn't get your book printed.

Come on, the kids will be worried about us.

I'm not God,...

...but we know what this country is like now.

And we can't accept it and we can't wait for God to come and change it.

We have to do what we can. And this book is what I can do.

Morning. Thanks. It's for us!

Mummy, Daddy, it's a present.

Can we open it? If it's addressed to you.

Thanks. What's all this noise?

Dad, it's got a picture of Steve.

What is it? A T-shirt? Here, Mary.

I bet it fits.

Wendy.

Is there a return address? No, Dad.

He's becoming a legend. Mummy! Daddy!

What is it? What is it?

My eyes!

Call Doctor James, quick.

Mum, my hands are itching.

It's all right. It's all right. What's happening? What is it?

Some kind of burn. I don't know. Get it off! Get it off. Get the dress off!

My hands are burning! Duncan, go upstairs and rinse them.

Duncan, go upstairs and rinse them!

Did you hear what Evalina said? Now, go!

That was Don on the phone.

He says he has proof beyond doubt that the security police sent those T-shirts.

How could they do this to her?

I think that book should be published.


Bruce! God! You scared the shit out of me.

I was expecting you the other way.

If I go out that way, they know where I am and who I'm with.

Good thinking. Well, they didn't see me.

You oughta report 'em for neglect of duty.

You're cheerful. I take it you've got some good news.

Yeah, it's out of date, but we doctored that.

It wouldn't get you out of Jo'burg, but up in the sticks it ought to work.

Father David C. Curren? Irishman.

How did you get it? Father Kani lifted it.

He felt sure Father Curren would agree, but for safety's sake, he'd explain later.

Black hair, but apart from that, if the light wasn't too good, I suppose it could work.

You're sure those buggers aren't behind us?

Yeah, it's all right. Good.

This looks like a logical place to get lost.

Let's look at the map.

Flying you out to Botswana is out.

But we have to. How else...? We can't, Donald, we tried.

We can't get a plane with the amount of fuel needed without tipping our hand.

So, we're gonna take you out via Lesotho instead,...

...and New Year's Eve is the best time, everybody drunk as a skunk.

You turn yourself into Father Curren and get up here, north of Queenstown.

Kani will drive you towards Saint Theresa's Mission.

Now, that's a bunch of nuns on the border, so two priests, you see, it's perfect.

And once there, Kani says the border's only a river.

You can wade across it at a dozen places.

I'm a priest wading across the border? You do it at night.

And once you're across, I'll be here to drive you to Maseru,...

...before the police know what's going on.

And from there, you can all fly out to Botswana.

The airline is run by a Canadian, with a couple of New Zealanders as pilots.

If I get out, my one regret will be giving you the biggest scoop of your life.

Pig's ass! I've had bigger scoops on an ice-cream cone.

Why do I have to go so far north before I meet Father Kani?

Well, it's thought that arms are coming through on those roads.

Don't worry about them.

So any car registered out of the district is automatically checked.

He's going up there to get a local car.

He's a helluva bloke, Kani. For a black guy to do what he's doing...

Believe me, I know the risk he's taking.

I don't see how I'm going to get all the way up past Queenstown. It's a long way.

You hitchhike, Father Curren, you bloody hitchhike.

That way, if you do get caught, you won't take Wendy and Kani down with you.

By five o'clock, New Year's Eve, all the white police would be off for parties.

You hitchhike to the rendezvous point.

It should be easy if you don't leave too late.

What if someone phones me and I'm not there? The whole plan...

In actual fact, New Year's Eve, you've gone to bed quite drunk.

Nobody will question that.

The next morning, Wendy drives off to the beach.

Only, she really goes to her parents' in Umtata.

If you make it, you phone her the minute you are in Lesotho ten o'clock, or whatever time you've arranged.

She takes the children north to the border before they have time to pick her up.

If you don't make it, and there's no phone call, she turns right around and goes straight back home, so that she can't be accused of being a party to it.

If I make it, they're going to suspect your involvement.

Oh, probably...

...but as a man of the cloth, it's proof they'll be missing.

In my case, I think they'll want it.

NEW YEAR'S EVE 1977

Do you think we can stay up tonight? Well, why don't you ask Mum?

Mary, come on.

Can we stay up for New Year's Eve? We can get undressed first.

Just wait and see. Get in the car. Come on, Charlie. In you go.

Duncan, your ice cream's melting.

Charlie, don't lick me.

If you do get ready, I've rented a film and cartoons. You can watch till midnight.

Mum, is Daddy going to watch with us?

Well, I thought you might like to ask Alan and Greg.

So Dad'll have to skip it.

But you know what he thinks of your choice of movies.

But Daddy doesn't know what good movies are.


I saw Alice and Larry at the beach.

I must phone him. Maybe he'd come over and play chess with me next week.

Did you pick up the projector?

Oh, damn. The kids wanted ice-cream cones, so I came home the other way.

We even talked about it.

I'll have to pick it up later.

Stupid.


Happy New Year.

Donald...

Thank God they're so predictable.

Dammit, it's my turn. No, it's not!

No, no, no, Duncan. I keep telling you. I keep telling you all. Now watch.

Watch this. Gavin. Mary.

You bend the back low on the table, your hand flat.

If they see you, don't say one word.

Where's Evalina? Is she in her room?

No.

I sent her over the road to get hamburger buns. She wasn't too pleased.


Well, if I've got to pick up that damn projector, I might as well do it now.


Any chance of a lift?

No. I'm just dropping him and then I'm going straight back into town.

No goodbyes, Father Curren. Off you go. And take care of yourself.

Thank you for the ride, Mrs. Woods.

Wendy!

Don't forget to pick up the projector. The what?

The projector. Oh, my God.

Thank God you reminded me. I'd completely forgotten.

I'll see you soon, eh?

The military, the police... Yes, of course I take risks. All the time.

But that is only unusual if you think we're a land at peace.

You see, in a war, people take great risks as a part of life.

Well... we're at war.

Hey, you want a ride?

Oh, thank you, sir. But how far are you going?

Near King William's Town. Thanks very much.

This side of King William's Town is fine.


I'm going towards Queenstown. I'll go as far as you're going.

Oh, don't mind him. He just makes a lot of noise.

He doesn't do nothing.

9.25 PM. MASERU, 360 MILES

I tell you, Father, it's very hard to see you in those dark clothes.

I couldn't tell what you are at first.

Yeah, well, maybe I should stand under a light next time.

Maybe you could let me off in Stutterheim.

Yes, sir, as long as you ride with me through King William's Town.

Those white kids will be drunk tonight.

Maybe they give me trouble, but with a white Father... Certainly, when it is not New Year's Eve, it's a fine town.

I've met some good people from King William's Town.

Yes... so have I.

The findings of the court are as follows.

One, that the deceased, Bantu Stephen Biko,...

...a black man, aged 30, died on September 12th, and the cause of death was brain injury which led to renal failure.

Two, that on the available evidence, the death cannot be attributed to any act or omission amounting to a criminal offence on the part of any person.

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho... Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.

Hey, hey! I'm a priest! Get away from this truck. Get off!

Get off, you stupid bastard, or I'll break your goddamn neck!

I suppose I'll have to say some penance for that outburst.

Oh, yes, sir, you're going to.

But you got me through King William's Town,...

...so I think God must be with us.

One minute to go, so...

Oh, look at the red balloons!

Mind the bubbles, Evalina.

Mum, can Daddy come down and sit in the other room?

No, no, he can't. He's upstairs asleep, where you should be in about 15 minutes.

Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one... Happy New Year!

There you are.

Happy New Year, Evalina. Happy New Year.

Happy New Year, Evalina. Happy New Year.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot And never brought to mind We'll drink a cup of kindness yet STUTTERHEIM MASERU, 325 MILES

In you go, Father. But why? I was just...

The locals told us you were trying to get to Queenstown.

We're about to cover that bit of road.

If we don't run into any trouble, we can get you there in a couple of hours.

Well, great. Bless you.

You're going to the mission? Yes, that's right.

If it's not an emergency, I'd spend the night in Queenstown, if I were you.

Oh, I'm sure I can find a lift there. You might find black terrorists too.

Here? In the Eastern Cape? Of course in the Eastern Cape.

Charlie, be quiet. Sh.

2.30 AM. MASERU, 250 MILES

Get in. Move up, Father, will you?

You still want to go past Queenstown?

Let's go.

But why do you use a phrase like "black is beautiful"?

Because black is commonly associated with negatives.

"The black market",...

..."the black sheep of the family". Anything which is supposed to be bad.

Then why do you use the word?

Why call yourselves black?

I mean, you people are more brown than black.

Why do you call yourselves white?

You people are more pink than white.

Precisely.


Sure you want out here? Yes, this is fine.

Thank you very much.

I expected you three hours ago. Hurry up. Hurry up. Get in, man!

It will be light soon.

In actual fact, it does change you. What's changed me is getting here.

When I wasn't shit-scared, I was standing in the cold, waiting to be.

Well, come on!

5.20 AM - TELLE RIVER

When do you have to make the call? Ten o'clock. If I'm late, she'll go back.

And you'll end up in jail for ten years if you're seen with me, so get out of here.

Look, there's Lesotho. I'll get across.

Easy! Easy! Don't get me nervous.

Shit, the bag's split.

In actual fact, it's turned out to be a balls-up, hasn't it?

We've done all right. There must be somewhere I can cross. Get out of here.

When you get desperate, go to one of us.

Use Steve's name.

Power.


If there is no more rain, there'll be places to cross tonight.

I can't wait till tonight. I've got to go now.

How far is the Telle Bridge? Nine, ten miles.

You cannot cross there. I have a false passport. Maybe I can.

Is there someone we can trust, who's got a car?

I trust me, and I have a car.

You, master editor, Donald Woods, escaping.

He's escaped from the law!

The Boers will shit themselves.

You're going to make it. The Boers will shit themselves.

Kruger will shit himself.

Vorster will shit himself.

Botha will shit himself.


Well, I got you here. Where's the border?

It's down there.

This will help. Thanks.

You must not lose one page.

Someday, when things have changed, I'll come back. We'll have a beer together.

I'll wait for you.


It's locked.

Yes. - It should be open. It's seven o'clock.

Well, not quite. Jesus.

Oh... Sorry, Father.

Oh, that's all right.

What are you doing on foot, Father?

Well, a friend brought me here and another's picking me up across the river.

I've got to get to Maseru in time for ten o'clock Mass.

You'll be lucky. The rain's messed up the roads over there very bad.

Put your bag in the cab. I'll give you a ride across.

Thank you. Very kind of you.

I'm Father Wo... Curren.

My name's Moses. Moses?

Yes, of course. It would be, wouldn't it?

Say goodbye to Evalina. But why?

To be polite. Goodbye, Evalina.

Be good. If I don't have that dog at my heels all day, I may make a cake.

Thanks. Gavin, I've told you...

Why can't we take Charlie? Because I say so.

So long, Evalina. Bye-bye.

As the Americans say, "Have a nice day". - Get out.

Get out.

If I do make a cake, I'm going to put marzipan on it so you won't eat any of it.

You ok, Mum? Yes, fine.

What sandwiches have we got, Mummy? We've got cheese and tomato...

Bye-bye, Evalina. Bye-bye.

See you when we get back.

Evalina! Evalina, I can't find my bat.

Have you looked behind the television? - No.

Go and give Evalina a kiss. And tell Dillon to open the garage door.

Don't get sunburnt. Yes, Evalina. Come, Charlie.

Charlie's staying. Tell Dillon to open the garage door.

Yes, Mum. Thank you, Evalina.

Charlie, sit. Sit!

Dillon, Mum says to go and open the garage door.

The master's still sleeping. He had a bit too much to drink last night.

If there are any calls, just take the number, and he's not to be disturbed.

Evalina, don't be cross with me about Charlie.

He's just such a nuisance on the beach. I can't read. I can't do anything.

He's always gone before.

Well, I'd just like a day without him, that's all.

I'm sure he'll be good. Won't you Charlie?

Goodbye, Evalina.

See you later.


The mother and children have left the house in the car.

Take the Father here first, sir. Hey, we are both in a hurry.

You're always in a hurry, Moses. Fill in this form.

I never will understand why it takes four days, for a letter to get from Queenstown to Maseru.

You gotta spend so much time sitting outside your gate, that's what the trouble is.

The telex is working again. Good.

According to Fentor, there's more rain heading our way.

We've got to check our instructions.

Who knows? The security police might be looking for a Lesotho postal inspector.

That's what takes the mail so long.

Your security police got to read half of it before they let it through.

You think we don't know what's going on, but we know. We know.

Father,...

...you're a brave man to drive with him. Good luck.

Oh, come on.

Is this your bag, Father?

Yes. It's, er... just some clothes, shaving things and a Bible.

Yes, I thought I felt a book of some kind.

Bless you.

Hello, Moses.

Yes, right.


Hey, Moses, Moses! Stop!

Won't be long.

There's been some trouble with the roads.

There's a message for you.

Donald, the important thing is not to accept their restrictions.

That's why those kids in Soweto refusing to be taught in Afrikaans...

...are taking chains off their minds that no one will ever be able to put back.

I made it.

I learned it as a boy.

So Daddy's been travelling all night. But why are we going to Granny's?

Oh, Mum, I haven't got my pyjamas.

Your pyjamas are in the boot. Because if he gets across safely, he's going to phone us there, and we're going to join him and fly to England.

But what's going to happen to Charlie?

I left a note in the bedroom for Evalina. She'll take him to the Bricelands.

But what's going to happen to Evalina, Mum?

I don't know. Daddy left her all the money he could find.

Nothing? No.

Come on.

Hey! Hey! Bless you, my son.

Wake up, you sleepy Aussie bastard.

Jesus Christ! I'd given you up. What the bloody hell happened?

Moses, it's the right one. Good luck, Father.

Thanks. The roads are awful. Shit, it's 8.30.

Yeah, we've got to move. It took me two hours, coming down.

I was really pushing this thing.


Now, where is that child's doll?

She'll never sleep tonight if she doesn't find it, will she?

We're never going to make it. We can't get stopped by the police.

Something very wrong here, Charlie.

It's 9.15. I can't believe I've gone this far just to turn round and go back again.

For God's sake, move them out of the way! Please! Move them!


Excuse me. Can you tell me which is nearer, the British or American Embassy?

We are a Commonwealth country, Father. It's the British High Commission.

But which is nearer?

The British High Commission is there on the right, past...

Thank you. Thanks.

Excuse me. I have to see the high commissioner immediately.

My name is Donald Woods, I'm the editor of the Daily Dispatch in South Africa.

There's a Father Donald Woods...

No, no, no, no, no, no. I'm not a Father.

An editor, to see the high commissioner.

Yes, sir.

The high commissioner is in London, but the acting high commissioner will see you.

Thank you.

Good Lord! I'd no idea you were a priest!

I'm not, but I desperately need to use your phone.

Please. We understood you were banned.

I was. Do I need a code?

No, no, you dial direct. Would you care for a cup of tea?

I've come to ask your government for political asylum.

Our pleasure.

Hello? Oh, Donald.

Yes, that was good timing, she's just arrived!

Well, she's just pulled into the driveway, dear.

Wendy! Wendy!

Donald, you haven't quarrelled, have you, dear? She's got all the children with her.

No, no, you'd better not say anything. She's just coming.

Oh, darling.

Hi, Gran.

It's Donald. Isn't that a coincidence?

Go on, Mum.

Answer it.

Hello, Donald.

Wendy, I'm... I'm where I expected to be.

Come as quick as you can. He's there.

Hello, Donald? Yes.

Donald, shall we still make for the Telle Bridge?

Yes. From where you are you should have good roads most of the way.

Just hurry, before... just hurry. We're on our way.

I love you.

I'm a priest. You can't speak to me like that.

Just hurry.

We're going on an aeroplane. Now, all you kids go to the toilet.

Come on, lads. Have you got any biscuits?

Regina, come along, quick. I don't know what's happening, but we may need help.

I'll drive you, dear. Thanks.


You'd have to overfly South African territory,...

...and they demand that all planes land in South Africa before going on.

Well, they can't stay here. They'd never be safe from the South African police.

Look, we had hoped to fly to Botswana. And the sooner the better.

That's over two hours' flying. Could they force us to land?

They have no shortage of military planes.

Well, my wife and children will be at the Telle Bridge in a few hours.

We could be there to meet them...

In this rain? Impossible. They'll have to stay in a hotel overnight.

We'll telegraph to have them met at Telle Bridge.

What's going on here?

I'm just taking the children over for a little holiday.

Are they all under eighteen? Yes.

You can put their names on your form.

You picked good weather for a holiday.

Well, they say the weather changes every half-hour, so it might be fine.

That's for sure.

Mum, you've got my birthday wrong. Never mind.

You haven't put down your husband's name.

James.

Middle initial?

D.

Have a good holiday. Thank you. Come on, boys.

I wish they'd get the signal straight. They're trying to tell us something.

I've got it. Wonderful.

Tell them not to leave anything in the car.

Here, dear, I found this. I never brought anything for the rain.

Darling, it's not much, but you can't go to England with five children and no money.

Oh, Mum.

We must hurry.

You will write to us? All right, Mum.

Be careful. We love you.

Goodbye, Grandpa.

See you soon, Granny. It suits you, Janey.

Look after yourself, Granny.


God bless you.

Mummy, it's running down my neck.

Are you all right? Yes, I'm fine.

Is that too heavy? I'll manage.

Mummy.


Bruce!

Daddy! Daddy!

I thought you'd never get here. Daddy, are we going in the plane?

Welcome to exile.

Listen, look after your kids. I must phone in that scoop.

I'll make you a hero. Right, I'll pay you later.

What with?

Here is the 12 o'clock news. An Australian news report has stated that the banned editor of the Daily Dispatch, Donald Woods, has escaped into Lesotho by swimming the flooded Telle River by night.


Now this is a moment you'll want to remember. Look happy!

Now get outta here.

Mr. Woods... Donald...

Jane, make sure my bag is safe. Mr. Woods!

The South African government have told Lesotho they refuse transit for the plane.

And they say they'll force it down with jets if you fly anyway.

I think they're bluffing. With all the media attention, it would look very bad.

They don't give a stuff about the press. They've shown that.

Have we got a chance? Yeah, Ritchie's a clever pilot.

I'd say a chance. But the longer you wait, the longer they have to plan something.

If Ritchie will go, we'll go. Oh, shit.

Trouble.

Good afternoon. Afternoon.

Mr. Woods, we've arranged United Nations passports for all of you.

And the Prime Minister has decided I should accompany you. We must hurry.

Mrs. Woods, good luck. Get on that plane.

Bye-bye, Bruce, take care. Send us a postcard!

We hope that these passports and my being here, might make the South Africans hesitate, but we're not sure.

But it's the best we can offer. Everyone strapped in?

A friend of Steve Biko's is a friend of ours.


How long before we're o... How long before we're over South African territory?

About 30 seconds.

I won't be going where they expect me, but they'll expect that too.

Roger, hang on. They've picked up the flight.

They're demanding to know who's on board.

McElrea thinks we must give them some answer.

Tell them one Lesotho official and seven holders of United Nations passports.

Mac!


Have you heard the news? Remember we're on the phone.

Yes, I know, I know. But tell me, what are your sources telling you?

The schoolchildren in Soweto are on strike,...

...citing something called black consciousness.

They have refused to study Afrikaans,...

...refused to be trained simply as servants to the system.

The name... Biko...

...has been uttered here and there.

It's the beginning of the end, Donald.

Change the way people think, and things will never be the same.

What's the government's reaction? Tense.

Troops have been sent in to restore order.

Hell, they're kids.

They may shout a little bit, break a few windows, but...


Now, stop! Stop right there!

This is an illegal gathering.

I am giving you three minutes to disperse. Go home. Go home!

I'm warning you.

Sergeant. Get ready to fire!

I'm warning you.

I'm warning you. Sergeant!

Fire!


But you, the black child, smart or dumb,...

...you are born into this, and smart or dumb,...

...you'll die in it.