A Dry White Season
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Schoolteacher Ben du Toit (Donald Sutherland) has been insulated all his life from the horrors of apartheid in his native South Africa. Perhaps he really didn't want to know. When the son of his black gardener is arrested and beaten as a result of a schoolboy protest in Soweto, at first he imagines the police must have had their reasons. However, the boy is picked up again, and this time he doesn't come back. Ben promises his servant that he will look into the incident, and discovers that the boy was killed simply to gratify the violent urges of Captain Stolz (Jurgen Prochnow), a… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The relentless plot is effectively set up and expertly pursued, and Hugh Masekela makes some striking contributions to Dave Grusin's musical score."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Whites debating racial injustice: fine for a book published in Afrikaans a decade ago, but a poor premise for a message movie."
‑ Damon Wise, Time Out
"A polemic against South African apartheid, this may not meet criteria for "great" filmmaking, but director Euzhan Palcy's film succeeds in being significant."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"...a powerful examination of the effects of Apartheid on a privileged white man."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"It's not Cry Freedom, nor is it A World Apart, but there are some fine performances, particularly from Brando as the world-weary lawyer prosecuting the killer."
‑ , Film4
"It's filled with obvious, earnest performances--Marlon Brando's ironic and subtle one is the only exception--and unresonant writing."
‑ Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times
"Mr. Brando appears only briefly and is badly missed. His character takes the whole film a notch above where it might otherwise go."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"A thumpingly didactic script, but Palcy has crafted a watchable - if not particularly important, given its competition - one."
‑ Anthony Quinn, Empire Magazine
"Late career Brando is so-so drama."
‑ Steve Crum, Video-Reviewmaster.com
"A heavy-handed but effective condemnation of Apartheid justice. Brando, who worked for free on this one, is great as an opposition lawyer."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Nitrate Online
"A wrenching picture about South Africa that makes no expedient compromises with feel-good entertainment values, A Dry White Season displays riveting performances and visceral style."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
""A Dry White Season" bursts through your door and beats you senseless; it seems perverse to question its technique and only days later can you question its logic."
‑ Jeanne Cooper, Washington Post
"Tells about the political awakenings in 1976 to apartheid in South Africa."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Depicts one Afrikaner's journey toward moral responsibility in South Africa."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"a provocative topic makes for a mundane drama"
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
More reviews for A Dry White Season on Rotten Tomatoes