The trenches of South Africa in the 1960s, in the grip of apartheid—the equivalent of the American Civil War fought on foreign soil—continue to provide fertile material for movies fueled by the flames of morality, conscience and the struggle for human rights. Along the way, new heroes are discovered and old oversights corrected. The latest is Black Butterflies, a footnote to history about the rebellious, courageous and tragic life of South African poet Ingrid Jonker (triumphantly played by Carice van Houten, the rangy, riveting Dutch star who skyrocketed to world acclaim in Paul Verhoeven’s World War II saga, Black Book). She’s not the only person to defy the government and speak out against racism during apartheid, but her story is unique because the odds she faced to improve conditions and ameliorate the fate of the disgraced country she loved were overwhelming. As the daughter of Abraham Jonker, the powerful, mean-spirited minister of censorship, she had no one to turn to for approval. Read More
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