The Grass Is Singing


Time Out says

Two of Doris Lessing's recurring themes come together here: the descent into madness, and the debilitating effect of the environment (in this case, the oppressively permanent swelter of Southern Africa). In a courageously abandoned performance, Karen Black, overdressed and anxious about spinsterhood, leaves the relative social and physical comforts of the town for marriage with a none-too-successful bush farmer (Thaw). Installed in the ramshackle homestead, her automatic and unconsidered racism (it's only 1960) towards the African workers, and her pent-up loathing of the heat and the mean little farm, drive her towards complete breakdown and the film's violent, quasi-mystical resolution. A dramatically potent adaptation which, while seriously polemical, is also shot through with the hallucinatory and the poetic.


Release details

109 mins

Cast and crew

Michael Raeburn
Michael Raeburn
Karen Black
John Thaw
John Kani
Patrick Mynhardt
John Moulder-Brown
Margaret Heale
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