The career of John Berry, a victim of Hollywood's anti-communist blacklist, took him to France, where most of his subsequent movies were made. Berry was behind the first New York stage production of Athol Fugard's classic play in 1970, so it's somehow fitting that he should bow out (he died in Paris in 1999, aged 82) with a French-financed screen adaptation of this anguished exploration of the injustices of apartheid. The selling point here is obviously the presence of Glover and Bassett, squaring up to the meaty material as the two scavengers left sleeping out on waste ground after the white authorities demolished their shantytown home. Both actors give everything asked of them, yet however much one respects the eloquence of the writing, its declamatory style is rather more suited to the stage than Berry's realistic settings and portentous close-ups Berry affords it here. However, as a visual record of the play, it serves well enough for current and future students.
Boesman & Lena
Cast and crew