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Fernanda Pérez Pérez 09/26/17

Film Report 1
Goodbye Bafana

“Goodbye Bafana” portraits the social conditions in South Africa during 1968. This
was a period in which the apartheid was a social standard established since 1948.
With this norm, South Africans created a well-defined separation between black and
white people. Its purpose was to preserve the power within the white minority (4
million people) and make them rule over 22 million of black South Africans.

Apartheid gave minimum privileges to black people. For instance, they would need
to carry around a pass in order to travel from one place to another while whites didn’t
need one. Also, black people could not vote and marriage or sexual encounters
between black and white people was extremely forbidden. Breaking these rules
could cause immediate imprisonment. The regulations of the Apartheid rules were
managed by the Prime Minister.

In the film, white women are seen as regular housewives that live in a luxurious
fashion. They seem to wear elegant clothes and to attend social events regularly.
On the other hand, black women look very poor and seem as if they were treated as
slaves. Black people and white people avoided talking to each other, some afraid of
breaking the Apartheid rules, and some others for mere hatred towards the other

After living in such unfair conditions, Nelson Mandela decided to start a movement
in favor of the equity of rights and social justice. In 1955, he adopted “The Freedom
Charter” at a conference in Kliptown. This was a document that remained important
for Mandela due to the fact that it called for a democratic, non-racialist state with the
nationalization of the major industry. A few years later, “The Freedom Charter” would
be banned in South Africa and Mandela would be imprisoned for “high treason” and
for being associated with communists.
Fernanda Pérez Pérez 09/26/17

1968 is a year in which Mandela is still a prisoner in Robben Island. He was in a

special section –section B- for political prisoners. Inside this prison, there were
extremely strict rules, including a censorship office that was responsible of checking
the letters that prisoners sent and received. If these letters discussed the condition
of the prison, the lives of other prisoners, or political matters, they would “censor”
those parts of the letter by cutting them out.

The issue that caught my attention the most was the fact that white people were
fighting without really knowing what Mandela was asking for. He was seen as a major
communist threat that wanted to overthrow the government, even though that was
not the case. The minority was completely ignorant to the position of the other party
and simply believed what the most important figures of the government would tell

To this day, even with the great progress Mandela’s party managed to achieve, I
believe that there is still some hostility between races. History has dragged with it
over 50 years of separation, which will be impossible to erase from the memories of
the victims.