Cry, the Beloved Country Unboxing

In Features by Samuel Love

Alan Paton’s 1948 novel Cry, the Beloved Country remains one of the best-known and most important works of South African literature, and spawned two film adaptations. The first, from 1951, was directed by Zoltán Kellner and starred Sidney Poitier, Charles Carson and Canada Lee. This adaptation remains a powerful and sobering film that, over 70 years later, is just as crucial today as it ever was. StudioCanal’s new Blu-ray release is an essential purchase.

Cry, the Beloved Country is the BAFTA nominated film of the acclaimed novel by Alan Paton. A black minister, Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) lives a quiet life as a parish priest in the back country of South Africa. When his son, Absolom, leaves the small valley where he grew up for the bright lights of the city, he goes missing. After several months of silence, the minister goes to search for him and comes face to face with the squalor and poverty of the Johannesburg slums. Reverend Msimangu (Sidney Poitier) is a young clergyman who joins him in his search, but neither are prepared for what they will discover. 

Extras: Canada Lee: An interview with Mona Z Smith

An interview with Lionel Ngakane (1990)

In Darkest Hollywood

African Mirror footage of The World Premiere

Africa: Alan Paton (1962) 

Behind the Scenes Stills gallery