A Dry White Season (1989)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

A Dry White Season Videos & Photos

Movie Info

Schoolteacher Ben du Toit (Donald Sutherland) has been insulated all his life from the horrors of apartheid in his native South Africa. Perhaps he really didn't want to know. When the son of his black gardener is arrested and beaten as a result of a schoolboy protest in Soweto, at first he imagines the police must have had their reasons. However, the boy is picked up again, and this time he doesn't come back. Ben promises his servant that he will look into the incident, and discovers that the … More

Rating: R
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Colin Welland, Colin Welland, Alison Cross, Euzhan Palcy
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 8, 2005

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as Ben du Toit

as Ian McKenzie

as Gordon Ngubene

as Stanley Makhaya

as Melanie Bruwer

as Susan du Toit

as Capt. Stolz

as Emily Ngubene

as Suzette du Toit

as Mr. Bruwer

as Johan du Toit

as Col. Viljoen

as Susan's Mother

as Susan's Father

as Julius

as Margaret

as Wellington

as Magistrate

as Dr. Herzog

as Archibald Mabaso

as Sgt. Van Zyl

as Lt. Venter

as Johnson Seroke

as Dr. Hassiem

as Mrs. Beachley

as Aubrey Kunene

as Police Commandant

as Soweto Girl
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for A Dry White Season

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (11)

Searing, powerful and eye-opening.

Full Review… | September 28, 2015
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

This film is unblinking in its depiction of the most violent side of apartheid.

Full Review… | September 28, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

This is filmmaking meant to engage the heart -- and other visceral organs -- more than the mind; its effects are simple, broad and directly put.

Full Review… | September 28, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The relentless plot is effectively set up and expertly pursued, and Hugh Masekela makes some striking contributions to Dave Grusin's musical score.

Full Review… | October 7, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It's filled with obvious, earnest performances--Marlon Brando's ironic and subtle one is the only exception--and unresonant writing.

Full Review… | October 7, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A wrenching picture about South Africa that makes no expedient compromises with feel-good entertainment values, A Dry White Season displays riveting performances and visceral style.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Dry White Season


It's too bad that such a well-intentioned movie is so mediocre. Cliche-riddled, convoluted writing and often haphazard choices made by director Euzhan Palcy are too blatant too be ignored. Donald Sutherland is a convincing but uncompelling lead, and Susan Sarandon's vocal work is laughable. In a shamefully small amount of screen time, Marlon Brando leaves a stronger impression than anyone else in the movie.

Mike T.

Super Reviewer


Very good! Important movie released before the apartheid was over in South Africa that shows us a little bit of the atrocities caused by such a cruel regime. Good movie that is unknown to most people.

Donald Sutherland plays a naive schoolteacher who apparently didn't notice the problems of Apartheid in South Africa. Overall kinda weak, but the acting is brilliant, especially from Marlon Brando and Jurgen Prochnow.

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