Friends

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Friendship, politics, violence, and personal responsibility meet head on in this drama. In the late 1980s, three young women who are completing their college education share a house together in Johannesburg, South Africa. Aninka (Michele Burgers) is the daughter of wealthy Afrikaners; she is studying archeology and has personally rejected her family's pro-apartheid politics. Thoko (Dambisa Kente) is Black and receiving a degree in education; her family has little money, and her mother works as a cleaning woman to help pay her daughter's tuition. Sophie (Kerry Fox), whose British parents are well-to-do, is studying library science, and unknown to the others, she has taken a very strong position against South Africa's policy of minority rule. Sophie has joined a terrorist group determined to fight apartheid by any means necessary; under orders from the group, she places a bomb at a busy airport in Johannesburg, killing many innocent bystanders in the process. Sophie's confusion and guilt over the consequences of her actions drive a wedge between herself and her husband, a fellow activist, and it complicates her friendship with Aninka and Thoko. Writer-director Elaine Proctor won the Golden Camera award at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival for her work on Friends. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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