African apartheid and discrimination that some many people had to face has become the basis for a number of books and films. “A Walk in the Night” and “A Dry White Season” are two movies that describe the oppression people of African descent had to face. The discrimination and unequal treatment had no real basis, except for selfishness, greed and the mere ability to inflict unpunished harm onto other people.
The movie “A Walk in the Night” tells a story of an African man Mikey who has had a rough night. He is one of the workers at the local factory and is fired because he confronts the foreman, after being called a racist name “kaffir” (A Walk in the Night). This is very much representative of the society where people were able to get away with offending others based on their race and skin color.
Such behavior would not be tolerated if it was done to someone of equal status or race but for those of African descent this was acceptable. This shows how ignorant and cruel a whole nation of people can be and what sort of influence a large number of individuals can have. Mikey is outraged by such behavior and his reaction costs him his job. After he leaves the factory, he meets Joey who is caught up with the wrong crowd and leads a life of crime and unemployment.
Even though Mikey wants to help Joey, he realizes how futile and pointless his efforts are because a whole society is prejudiced and will not be able to change overnight. Mikey then finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant and is feeling hopeless because he lost his job and he knows that the society they live in is very much unhealthy. He then encounters a police officer who adds to the frustration by harassing him and calling another racial name.
Mikey is in such a stressed condition that he goes drinking with his neighbor Uncle Doughty. They have a heartfelt conversation because Doughty has been around for some time and knew Mikey when he was a child, as well as his mother. The climax of the movie is the scene where Uncle Doughty says: “Mikey, my boy… It’s just a manner of speech.” (A Walk in the Night). This outrages Mikey and he kills Doughty.
This scene shows how tired and humiliated the nature of African people was because they were facing discrimination and disrespect for so long. The movie “A Dry White Season” is another representation of discrimination towards Africans. It tells a story of a white teacher in a South African school who is asked for help by a man Gordon.
Ben, the teacher, refuses, as he does not want to participate in the fight between races and societies. Even though he avoids the fight, he faces it later because he sees the unacceptable behavior of the white people. Gordon and his wife are killed and Ben takes up the fight against the white man’s regime.
The quote “Blacks lead double lives – one you see and one you don’t” proves how the offense and stress that the whites have caused is unseen and Native Africans are forced to live their lives in segregation and separation (A Dry White Season). In the movie, Ben represents the fight for respect and equality and portrays everyone who was in support of blacks and was not afraid to fight them. Both movies are a strong representation of events that can be seen as one of the dark spots in human history.
A Dry White Season. Ex. Prod. Paula Weinstein. Beverly Hills, United States: MGM. 1989. Film.
A Walk in the Night. Ex. Prod. Mickey Madoda Dube. Johannesburg, South Africa: SABC. 2000. Film.