Explain the most powerful scene from Cry Freedom.

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It can effectively be argued that the most powerful scene from the 1987 film Cry Freedom is that representing the student march in the Soweto uprising of June 16, 1976.

The scene opens with a close shot of a dirt road in the foreground, which curves to the rise of...

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It can effectively be argued that the most powerful scene from the 1987 film Cry Freedom is that representing the student march in the Soweto uprising of June 16, 1976.

The scene opens with a close shot of a dirt road in the foreground, which curves to the rise of a hill in the background. The background hilltop is filled, Fellini-style, with the figures of innumerable upper-level school children (little ones were meant to stay at school and not march) joyfully striding toward the curving dirt road. The curve can be said to symbolize the unexpected obstacles awaiting them out of sight.

As the scene moves on, we see that the children on the hilltop are striding to join the solid mass of shoulder-to-shoulder students already on the dirt road. The students are jumping and dancing and singing, jubilant in their unity of peaceful protest. All the while the first part of the scene progresses, more and more students flood into the crushing throng from more and more directions, yielding the perception of unimagined multitudes of children congregating with spirit, energy, and joy on one dirt road.

The second part of the scene—unified with the first part because the camera shifts to the point of view of the students by looking out from above the throng over tops of shoulders and heads—metaphorically rounds the curve as we see what the children have been seeing: a wall of police, military, and vehicles filling the road ahead.

Warnings to disperse and go home are not heeded, teargas bombs are shot above the crowd, the first officer to send a live round into the crowd fires, and the first child dies. Mayhem ensues. Child after child is shot in the back, fleeing, protest subsumed in bullets. In a dramatic recreation, an actor playing heroic eighteen-year-old Mbuyisa Makhubo carries a younger actor playing the shot and killed thirteen-year-old Hector Pieterson, with Pieterson's sister running alongside, fearful her brother was being abducted. Makhubo runs toward medical help, trying in vain to save Hector's life.

For anyone who saw first-hand the lives of school children of African ethnicity in South Africa during apartheid, the filmed scene of up to 10,000 school children dressed in pressed school uniforms, singing the song of Africa's freedom ("Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika," meaning "Lord Bless Africa," which is now in South Africa's national anthem), and in that street-engulfing throng of protest, carries a powerful and chilling strain of truth underlying anguished reality.

[From an interview given by Sithole Pieterson, sister of Hector Pieterson, to Aryn Baker in Soweto for TIME USA on June 15, 2016:]

From her position on the edge of the crowd, Sithole [Pieterson] saw a man run past with a body in his arms. “The first thing that I spotted was my brother’s shoes,” she says. Confused, Sithole caught up with him. “Who are you?” she demanded. “This is my brother. I’ve been looking for him. Where are you taking him?” But the man just kept on running. Sithole, desperate to keep up, looked more closely at the limp body in his arms. “I saw blood coming from the side of the mouth. I panicked. ‘Can’t you see he’s hurt?’” she shouted at the man. “Who are you, where are you taking him?”

A car screeched to a halt in front of them to transport the boy to a nearby medical clinic, but it was already too late. “He’s dead,” the man told Sithole, as he placed the body in the car.

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This type of question does not have one correct answer. However, the instructor will want you to explain and give examples to support your choice. To respond to this question, you will want to first consider what makes a scene powerful. Often, the main character has an epiphany regarding a problem or goal. A powerful scene may also move the plot into a new, unexpected direction. A scene that presents a surprise for the audience could always be considered powerful. You may also want to look for a scene that has an emotional pull for the audience. Cry Freedom is the story of a South African journalist who is forced to flee the country while investigating the death of a friend. The plot offers plenty of powerful scenes for you to choose from for your response.

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Cry Freedom is a powerful movie that is full of powerful scenes. For me, I found the courtroom scene where Steve Biko (wonderfully portrayed by Denzel Washington) defends the anti-apartheid ethos and the what he calls the "black consciousness." In this scene, the government lawyer repeatedly attacks Biko's attitude, words, and actions, but Biko has a counter-response ready each time that illustrates the absurdity of apartheid and defends the position of black South Africans in a logical and measured way. The power of this scene comes from Biko's calm yet emphatic rhetorical style, the clear logic of his arguments, and the court's inability to present its arguments without Biko's elegant yet simple deconstruction of them. Even though there is less action in this scene than elsewhere in the film, I feel that this is one of the more powerful parts, as it gets right to the heart of the story and the central conflict of the film. It provides great insight into Biko's qualities as a leader and representative of his cause. All this makes his death that much more tragic for the viewer.

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You have many from which to choose.  Attenborough's film is probably one of the best films about a topic that does not receive much in way of treatment, Steve Biko.  I like the ending, to be honest.  When Donald Woods and his family fly out of South African airspace, the journalist who had endured so much to bring out the justice behind Biko's death, he recalls a conversation with Biko about the Soweto uprising.  The scene is powerful, but Biko's voice-over about the predicament that Black children in South Africa face is extremely poignant.  Adding to this is the ending, which others see as a bit too cliched, where political prisoners' names who rebelled against Apartheid and died in prison, like Biko, are shown on the screen with the anthem, "Nkosi Sikele Africa," being sung.  I think that it's a powerful moment in that is truly provides a transformative moment where the viewer understands that their opinion on Apartheid and those who fight for freedom will be permanently altered.

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