MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

BOPHA tells the fictional story of a black South African policeman, Sgt. Mangena (Danny Glover), as he is torn between duty and the plight of his people. It takes place in the tumultuous days of 1980 when South Africa is under the oppressive control of a white minority. Political unrest is growing in Mangena's black township and a special agent and his henchman are sent in to prevent any uprisings. But they do start and Mangena 's college age son (Maynard Eziashi) is one of their leaders. Mangena finds himself fighting his son and his followers out of a deep felt loyalty to the South African Police and a desire for stability in his community. Unhappily, Mangena's wife (Alfre Woodward) is caught in the middle of this nightmarish dilemma. The term Bopha refers to the act of detaining or arresting a black protestor. The natives' struggle for freedom and group singing of patriotic South African songs are moving, and the film's drama, action and tension make for good entertainment.

Oppression of blacks in South Africa is well documented, but whether Mangena's story accurately reflects this oppression has not been confirmed by this reviewer. The special agent of the South African Police (Malcolm McDowell) and his henchman are portrayed as cruel, even sadistic, at times. Views of bloody victims imply that protest leaders have been beaten and tortured. Massive street protests by black students and other natives are broken up with tear gas attacks, beatings and shootings. At the same time, one policeman is burned to death and the clothing of another is set on fire. Eventually, the natives take out their wrath on Sgt. Mangena. Many obscenities along with some crudities and profanities are inserted, supposedly for realism. But realism can be developed without foul language. In a gratuitous scene, a young black girl is disrobed revealing breast nudity. The film's offensive language and nudity spoil this compelling story.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Paramount Pictures, 15 Columbus Circle, NY, NY 10023-7780

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (8) times - Mild 2, Moderate 6

Obscene Language: Many (16) times (f-word 3, s-word 9, other 4)

Profanity: Once - Regular

Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (Man burned to death, beating, striking, fist fights, street fighting, tear gas attacks, choking, shoot-kill, bloody victims, kicking, stabbing, property destruction)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once - breast nudity

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

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Intended Audience:

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