A Dry White Season (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Dry White Season (1989)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Set in South Africa during the mid '70s when apartheid was still the norm, this provocative drama centers on a white schoolmaster's gradual awakening to the horrors of government-sanctioned racism.
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Donald Sutherland
as Ben du Toit
Marlon Brando
as Ian McKenzie
Winston Ntshona
as Gordon Ngubene
Zakes Mokae
as Stanley Makhaya
Susan Sarandon
as Melanie Bruwer
Janet Suzman
as Susan du Toit
Jürgen Prochnow
as Capt. Stolz
Thoko Ntshinga
as Emily Ngubene
Susannah Harker
as Suzette du Toit
Leonard Maguire
as Mr. Bruwer
Rowen Elmes
as Johan du Toit
Gerard Thoolen
as Col. Viljoen
Stella Dickin
as Susan's Mother
David de Keyser
as Susan's Father
John Kani
as Julius
Sophie Mgcina
as Margaret
Precious Thiri
as Wellington
Derek Hanekom
as Viviers
Michael Gambon
as Magistrate
Paul Brooke
as Dr. Herzog
Ernest Ndlovu
as Archibald Mabaso
Stephen Hanly
as Sgt. Van Zyl
Andre Proctor
as Jaimie
Grant Davidson
as Lt. Venter
Ndu Gumede
as Douma
Sello Maake
as Johnson Seroke
Charles Pillai
as Dr. Hassiem
Rosemary Martin
as Mrs. Beachley
Willie Zweni
as Aubrey Kunene
Mannie de Villiers
as Police Commandant
Anna Manimanzi
as Soweto Girl
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News & Interviews for A Dry White Season

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


This is a hard-hitting and unsparing movie, effective at revealing how apartheid infected both whites and blacks in South Africa. There are a few artistic shortcomings and the movie is a bit too earnest, but there are some fine moments as well, and was gripping throughout.

Paul Dalle-Molle
Paul Dalle-Molle

***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

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.

Bruno Lot
Bruno Lot

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