Apartheid in popular culture
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There is a wide range of ways in which people have represented Apartheid in popular culture. During and following the apartheid era in South Africa, apartheid has been referenced in many books, films, and other forms of art and literature.
Movies referencing apartheid
- Goodbye Bafana, about Nelson Mandela's censor, James Gregory.
- Invictus starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman and directed by Clint Eastwood. A film based on Nelson Mandela's role in the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. The story is based on the John Carlin book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed a Nation.
- Stander, about the South African police officer-turned-bank-robber, Andre Stander, during the 1970s and 1980s.
- Lethal Weapon 2, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover about two detectives investigating a South African diplomat who runs a drug smuggling ring.
- Cry Freedom, about the activist Steven Biko and journalist Donald Woods
- The Power of One, based on the novel by Bryce Courtenay
- Sarafina!, a musical depicting the Soweto Riots.
- Cry, the Beloved Country, based on the novel by Alan Paton.
- A Dry White Season based on the novel by André Brink
- A World Apart
- The Color of Friendship, a 2000 Disney Channel Original Movie
- In My Country, based on the book Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog
- Catch a Fire, based on the story of Patrick Chamusso, an apolitical man who becomes a freedom fighter against the South African state.
- Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony, (Australia, 2002)
- Red Dust (2004) starring Hilary Swank based on the book Red Dust by Gillian Slovo, about the Truth & Reconciliation Commission trials which gave amnesty to those who told the whole truth about atrocities committed during apartheid.
- Skin (2008)
- District 9 2009 film, The title and premise of District 9 were inspired by events that took place in District Six, Cape Town during the apartheid era.
- The black butterfly 2011 film, The title of the movie is named after the poem of Ingrid Jonker, the daughter of Abraham Jonker. Ingrid Jonker was an South-African writer who didn't agree with Apartheid. Nelson Mandela used her poem 'The child' in his first speech in South-African Parliament in 1994.
Books referencing apartheid
- Karoo Boy by Troy Blacklaws
- Vortex by Larry Bond and Patrick Larkin.
- 117 Days by Ruth First
- The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
- The Covenant by James A. Michener
- Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
- Down Second Avenue by Es'kia Mphahlele
- A Dry White Season by André Brink
- Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
- Age of Iron by J.M. Coetzee
- Life & Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee
- Fools and Other Stories by Njabulo Ndebele
- When Smuts Goes
- July's People by Nadine Gordimer
- Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
- Mandela: the Authorised Biography by Anthony Sampson
- Maru by Bessie Head
- "Master Harold"...and the Boys by Athol Fugard
- Miriam's Song by Miriam Mathabane
- My Traitor's Heart by Rian Malan
- Naught For Your Comfort by Fr Trevor Huddleston C.R.
- The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist by Breyten Breytenbach
- Tsotsi by Athol Fugard
- When She Was White by Judith Stone
- Maverick: Extraordinary Women From South Africa's Past by Lauren Beukes
- No Turning Back by Beverley Naidoo
- Journey of a Hope Merchant...From Apartheid to the Elite World of Solo Yacht Racing by Neal Petersen
- Mother to Mother by Sindiwe Magona
- Tandia by Bryce Courtenay
- The Sentinel by Madge Swindells
- The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing
- Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
- Ways of Dying by Zakes Mda
Poems referencing apartheid
- "Nothing's Changed" by Tatamkhulu Afrika
- "Still Standing" by AE Ballakisten in Heap of Stones
- "Mandela and I" by AE Ballakisten in Heap of Stones
- "Leaders Great" by Mayihlome Tshwete
Popular music referencing apartheid
- "Afrikaans" from the album Rainbow's End (1979) by Resurrection Band
- "Biko" from the album Peter Gabriel (III) (1980) by Peter Gabriel
- "Zuid Afrikan" from the album Between Heaven 'N Hell (1985) by Resurrection Band
- "Soweto Soul" from the album Sound Alarm (A&M 1988) by Michael Anderson
- "Gimme Hope Jo'anna" from the album File Under Rock (1988) by Eddy Grant
- "Colours" from the album ...But Seriously (1989) by Phil Collins
- "Fire In Soweto" and "Papa's Land" by Sonny Okosun
- "Free Mandela" by Majek Fashek
- "Free Nelson Mandela" by The Specials
- "Sun City" by Artists United Against Apartheid
- "Township Rebellion" by Rage Against the Machine
- "Silver and Gold" from the album Rattle and Hum by U2
- "Blanke Skaamte" from the album Bloeisels (2007) by Straatligkinders
- "Weeping" by Josh Groban and Ladysmith Black Mambazo
- "It's Wrong (Apartheid)" from the album In Square Circle by Stevie Wonder
- "Apartheid" from the album Equal Rights by Peter Tosh
- "Mandela Day" from the album Street Fighting Years (1989) by Simple Minds