In My Country

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -4

Anna (Juliette Binoche), a white Afrikaans poet, and Langston Whitfield (Samuel L. Jackson), a black reporter for the Washington Post, travel with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the late 1990s throughout South Africa as they interview men and women who were victims of horrific Apartheid crimes from 1960 to 1994. As the country is in a time of healing, the commission searches for truth and reports the progress of the hearings. In each village, perpetrators share the truth of their crimes in hopes of receiving amnesty. But as family members share the gruesome details of family loss, the entire commission and audience is greatly impacted as fresh wounds are opened. In the process, the relationship between Anna and Langston shifts from shared disrespect to adultery. For Anna, the pain and horror of the proceedings tragically leads to a discovery in her own family.

This film offers viewers several strong biblical messages as, at each hearing, the audience sings a hymn translated Let your will be done and as the commission provides a wonderful example of forgiveness in their attempt to seek the truth so they can forgive those who destroyed families. For the commission, justice is peace and compassion. But the movie grows frustrating as Hollywood decides to veer away from the message of grace and forgiveness and, undoubtedly to fill more seats, spices it up with adultery, drunkenness and bad language, including more than 10 f-words. Anna is a loving wife and mother with a heart for the plight of the prosecuted black people, and yet somehow she ends up in bed with a black reporter. What could have been a touching relationship built on understanding and forgiveness is ruined with adultery. Also difficult for some to hear will be the horrific details of rape, torture and murder described in accounts.

Preview Reviewer: Henry J. Rogers
Phoenix Pictures

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: Once moderate (b-stard 1)

Obscene Language: Many (20) times strong (f-word 13, s-word 7)

Profanity: Few (3) times strong (GD 2, C 1)

Violence: Many times mild (man and woman shoving during an argument); moderate (man shot in the leg, man shot in the stomach and killed, repeated stories of graphic torture, items shown that were used for torture, two skeletons shown with bullet holes in skulls)

Sex: Few times mild (kissing and hugging by adulterous couple); moderate (adulterous couple seen having sex without nudity)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times mild (white woman say she would be satisfied by having sex with two black men); moderate (reference to females genitals used in reference to torture, iron bar with a condom on it that was used to torture girls is shown)

Drugs: Many times mild (several instances of alcohol use, repeated smoking); moderate (two men and woman get drunk several times)

Other: Hatred by South African whites and blacks shown repeatedly

Running Time: 103 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Adults

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