In My Country

Rated R 2005

It's 1996, and Anna Malan (Juliette Binoche) is an Afrikaner journalist covering the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in South Africa -- the black African government's groundbreaking, compassionate attempt to heal without using war crimes tribunals or, in fact, retribution of any kind. Langston Whitfield (Samuel L. Jackson), a journalist covering the hearings for The Washington Post, takes a dim view. To him, granting amnesty to white perpetrators who tell the truth (and prove that they were following orders) is tantamount to letting them get away with murder, which white people have been doing for centuries. The two meet, argue, and, in a distasteful turn of events, fall in love. It's always hard to pan a movie that features good actors, important issues, and noble intentions, but In My Country leaves little choice. A clunky, obvious film, it makes the mistake of asking drama to do what documentary should. It also introduces a romance into an excruciating historical event, where the extant conflict could have easily done its own work.

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