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A Dry White Season is a film which was created in 1989 by Davros Films and Sundance Productions and distributed by MGM. It was directed by Euzhan Palcy and produced by Paula Weinstein, Mary Selway and Tim Hampton. The screenplay was by Colin Welland and Euzhan Palcy, based upon André Brink's novel of the same name. Robert Bolt also contributed uncredited revisions of the screenplay.

The film stars Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman, Zakes Mokae, J√ľrgen Prochnow, Susan Sarandon and Marlon Brando (who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor). It is set in South Africa, and deals with the subject of apartheid.


In A Dry White Season, Donald Sutherland portrays the character of Ben Du Toit, a South African school teacher. The story takes place during the Apartheid movement that lasted from 1948 until 1994.

The story begins when a janitor at Ben's school, a black man named Gordon, seeks his help while investigating the death of his son. Like many South African whites, Ben refuses to get involved in the racial divides that have been tearing the country apart, thinking that Gordon's claims against the white minority government are unfounded. Things change when Ben sees firsthand the brutality by his own race against blacks, particularly when he sees the dead body of Gordon at the morgue not long after being tortured at the hands of the secret, corrupt government police. Gordon's wife, Emily, is also killed later, and also under suspicious circumstances.

Upset by this turn of events, Ben retains Ian Mackenzie (Marlon Brando), a human rights attorney, to assist him with the case. Ben's political awakening is so complete by this time that his crusade to bring those responsible for the deaths of Gordon and his family members eventually take their toll on his own family. Eventually, Ben Du Toit pays the ultimate price for standing up to a corrupt government, standing up for basic human rights and equality. He pays with his own life, which was allegedly lost in a car accident.



The film was shot at Pinewood Studiosmarker, Buckinghamshire, Englandmarker and on location in Zimbabwemarker.


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