Goodbye Bafana Summary: The film is about a man named James Gregory, who grew up on a farm in South Africa with dark coloured people. In this way, James learned their language Xhosa, culture and conditions. Later on when James became an adult, he was employed by the government. The government finds out that James can speak the native language and therefore he gets a Job, where he had to censor all kinds of letters that goes in and out of the prison and the prisoners’ conversations, he could spy on them without them knowing about it.
But he had to especially watch out for Nelson Mandela, who was the most dangerous man according to the government. James seemed very interested in Mandela’s opinions and life, and he treated him with respect, even though he was a prisoner. James family experienced the dark coloured civilians being searched for ID and getting beaten on the streets. James was told that the freedom charter which is made by the party ANC, which stands for the African National Congress, is the extermination of the white people. Therefore James examined the freedom charter nd found out that everything he had been told was a lie.
The freedom charter consisted in all to live in peace and side by side. Over the years James slowly changed his view and could see through the apartheid system. James was later employed as a manager in a prison, where it aimed him to keep an eye on Mandela and the imprisoned people from ANC. It became harder and harder to keep Mandela inside prison, as rebels fought against the apartheid regime, they moved him around to 4 different prisons, where conditions were better for each time. It resulted in Mandela was freed after 27 years of confinement!
Prison conditions: It all started at Robben Island, the most secure prison in South Africa. James is employed in Robben Island as a prison guard, and must keep an eye on Mandela. Because that James can speak Xhosa and can therefore understand everything what Mandela says to the other inmates, and he can read and censor the letters, that are sent in and out of the prison. This made James the right man for the work. The film shows how Mandela and the rest of the prisoners from the ANC are treated; hey are treated badly and are brutally shown. They have no room in the cells, and they are forced to chop stone in the yard for several hours.
They were allowed to receive visits every six months and the same applied to letters. The inmates had shackles and handcuffs when they nad to go tor a walk, and was tollowed by prison guards. There were also strict laws such as the inmates were not allowed to see children, as it was part of their punishment. At one point in the film, James are out fishing with his children while the inmates are out walking, therefore James asks he children to hide. There is also a scene in the movie, where one of the inmates was tied to a pole for a coupled of days while it was raining.
The inmates were also beaten and tortured, and at some point, they had to throw all their clothes, in this way could the prison guards stand and mock them, this really shows the brutality of Robben Island. Because of the rebels’ pressure on the government, Mandela is transferred to Pollsmoor prison, where there are better conditions. Mandela and the rest of the inmates of the ANC now had access to better beds, radio, toilet, and much ore space and they were allowed to touch the visitors physically, there is a very emotional scene where Mandela was allowed to touch his wife and children.
Mandela was also allowed to grow plants. Later, Mandela was moved to Victor Vester prison, where he could live in luxury, he had everything he could ever need. He got a whole house with its own garden for himself. Apartheid system: Millions of dark coloured people were ruled by the whites during a brutal Apartheid regime. The dark coloured people had no right to vote, no right to own land, in short, they did not have any right to freedom. The movie “Goodbye Bafana” gives a good insight into what apartheid meant for the black population.
The apartheid system is represented in the movie by bus seating separation and police brutality. In the film we see that the seats in the busses are separated, and that the black coloured people have assigned seats in the end of the bus, they almost had no room and they were sitting cornered. The movie gives a glance at a severely effected South Africa, the white people are represented as spiteful and unaware and the blacks were shown as unfairly treated people.
For xample we see in the movie that the white people does not even have access to the freedom charter, they can barely read it themselves and understand the meaning of it, they had need to be told the meaning of any other person, which is why the most white people thought that the freedom charter aimed at the extermination of the whites. At one point in the film, we also see James is trying to get the freedom charter so that he can read it, and understand it, it was virtually impossible to get accessibility to the freedom charter, James cheated in order to get it.
There is also nother example of the film where we clearly can see the apartheid system in function. James walks down the street with his family where they see the police body search the black coloured people, because they needed permission to walk on the streets. The brutality and innocence is really shown in this scene of the movie. The whites Justitlcation tor Apartheid The white people had been taught that the blacks were a misled people; they were not even real human beings, according to the white. The whites were also taught that it was God’s will that the blacks were as they were.