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Boesman and Lena Review

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Danny Glover and Angela Bassett play a couple who's romance has been reduced to resentment by the harsh realities of apartheid-era South Africa

★★★★★

Forced into exile during the Communist witch-hunt of the 1950s, John Berry was never afraid of courting controversy. However, this swan-song (he died during post-production) is a disappointingly stilted adaptation of a wordy play. Previously filmed 25 years ago, with playwright Athol Fugard himself essaying Boesman, this should be a heart-rending study of a couple whose romance has been reduced to resentment by the harsh realities of being outcasts in apartheid South Africa.

Instead, it's an overacted, stage-bound workship, which even tinkers with the original ending. Neither Angela Bassett nor Danny Glover nails a Cape Town accent (though Glover is less prone to melodramatics) as they blame each other for their homeless plight on the banks of the Swartkops River.

A disappointing swan-song from John Berry.

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