Synopsis by Mark Deming
The many emotional scars left by South Africa's history of institutionalized racism come under the microscope in this drama. As South Africa comes to terms with the legacy of apartheid, their government has created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in which the perpetrators of racial violence and injustice must come face to face with their victims if they are to be forgiven for their crimes. Langston Whitfield (Samuel L. Jackson) is an African-American journalist who is assigned to cover these hearings by The Washington Post; Whitfield doubts the efficacy of this process, and sets out to interview Col. De Jager (Brendan Gleeson), a notorious former officer of the South African police who was famous for his violence against blacks in order to put this method to the test. While in South Africa, Whitfield meets Anna Malan (Juliette Binoche), an Afrikaner poet who is covering the hearing for a radio station and is both appalled and disturbed by the details of the violence inflicted against her countrymen. After striking up a friendship, Whitfield and Malan become romantically involved as they try to come to terms with their feelings about what they've learned. Also screened under the title Country of My Skull, In My Country was adapted from a book by South African author Antjie Krog.
Apartheid, corruption, discrimination, government-official, hearing [procedure], institution, interracial, poet, racial-tension, racism, trial [courtroom]