Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Directed by Euzhan Palcy
USA 1989

 

With this bracing drama, made at the climax of the anti-apartheid movement, director Euzhan Palcy issued a devastating indict­ment of South Africa’s racist government—and made history in the process, becoming the first black woman to direct a Hollywood studio film. White schoolteacher Ben Du Toit (Donald Sutherland) lives in Johannesburg and remains blissfully incurious about the lives of his black countrymen until a wave of brutal treatment comes crashing down on his gardener (Winston Ntshona), bringing Du Toit face-to-face with harsh political realities. Based on a celebrated novel by André Brink and rooted in the first-hand research the Martinican Palcy did in South Africa into the way black people lived under apartheid, A Dry White Season is unflinching in its depiction of violence and its chronicling of injustice, making for a galvanizing tribute to those willing to sacrifice everything to fight oppression.

***

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 boy was killed simply to gratify the violent urges of Captain Stolz (Jurgen Prochnow), a "special branch" policeman. At long last he has gotten a glimpse into the truly arbitrary and violent nature of the system he has so long benefitted from, and he hires Ian Mackenzie (Marlon Brando) to prosecute the killer. It is a foregone conclusion that Stolz will not be punished, but Mackenzie rises to new heights of withering sarcasm and irony in the courtroom. This situation turns Ben into a radical firebrand, which alienates him from his white friends and neighbors, as well as members of his family.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 10th, 1989 (Toronto Film Festival)

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

    

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine #953 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:46:45.148       
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,969,226,764 bytes

Feature: 32,144,775,168 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English (SDH), none
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion Collection

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,969,226,764 bytes

Feature: 32,144,775,168 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• New interview with director Euzhan Palcy by film critic Scott Foundas (34:52)
• Five Scenes, a new program featuring Palcy (28:46)
• Interview from 1989 with actor Donald Sutherland (5:22)
• Excerpt from a 1995 interview Palcy conducted with Nelson Mandela (2:43)
• Footage of Palcy receiving the highest distinction for foreign dignitaries at the 2017 South African National Orders awards (1:30)
• PLUS: An essay by filmmaker and scholar Jyoti Mistry


Blu-ray Release Date:
December 11th, 2018
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Criterion's new transfer is described as from a 'New 4K digital restoration'. The dual-layered Blu-ray exports the 1.85:1 image via a maxed out bitrate. The image shows the grain texture - has a somewhat greenish/blue leaning, but is consistently thick, rich and film-like. There is depth and the visuals are effective in-motion.

The audio transferred via an uncompressed linear PCM soundtrack in the English langauge. This 24-bit 2.0 stereo track is handles the films' more aggressive effects - protest marches, gunfire etc.. The score is by
Dave Grusin (The Front, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, ...And Justice For All, 3 Days of the Condor) and Joseph Shabalala's UNOMATHEMBA, UMUSA and YINI KODWA YINI performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo with additional vocal performances by the cast of Sarafina. It sounds excellent. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on this Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.

Extras include a new 35-minute interview with director Euzhan Palcy by film critic Scott Foundas. A Dry White Season, produced by MGM, made Euzhan Palcy the first black female filmmaker to direct a movie for a major film studio and the only woman to find success in directing an anti-apartheid narrative film during the apartheid era. In this conversation from August 2018, Palcy discusses the making of the film and the tense political climate in which it was released. Five Scenes, is a new 1/2 hour program that was recorded by the Criterion Collection in New York in August 2018, director Euzhan Palcy discusses five scenes from A Dry White Season and how she brings authenticity to her work. We get a 5-minute interview with actor Donald Sutherland originally aired on NBC's Today in 1989. There is a brief excerpt from a 1995 interview Palcy conducted with South African president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg. Lastly is brief footage of Palcy receiving the highest distinction for foreign dignitaries at the 2017 South African National Orders awards. The package has liner notes with an essay by filmmaker and scholar Jyoti Mistry.

Criterion's
Blu-ray of "A Dry White Season" makes for a compelling package. The film has important political, social themes exposed and there is an intriguing brief courtroom drama with Brando. This is gripping cinema and Sutherland and cast are excellent. The new 4K-restored transfer provides a film-like presentation with over and hour's worth of supplemental material discussing the film's background. Strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

    

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine #953 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!