Boesman & Lena

  • 15
  • John Berry (2000)
  • Fr / S Afr
  • 84 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

Twenty-five years after Athol Fugard headlined the first screen adaptation of his celebrated play, Danny Glover here assumes the role of the alcoholic outsider forced to reappraise his relationship with both his wife and the unjust world, after his shanty-town home is demolished. Despite some probing camerawork and the inclusion of a couple of flashbacks to show Glover and Angela Bassett in happier times, veteran director John Berry singularly fails to prise the action away from its theatrical confines. Consequently, it rapidly becomes a verbose, mannered production, which (since the collapse of apartheid) even lacks the political edge it once had.

Plot Summary

A black couple in apartheid-era South Africa are left homeless after their shanty town is destroyed. As they go in search of shelter, the tensions in their relationship come to the surface, a situation intensified when the wife invites an elderly tribesman to join them, in defiance of her husband. Drama based on Athol Fugard's stage play, starring Danny Glover and Angela Bassett.

Cast and crew


Danny Glover
Angela Bassett
Old African
Willie Jonah


John Berry

Other Information

Colour and Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
Contains swearing.
Available on DVD
Released 20 Apr 2001
Certificate 15