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Yesterday

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Description

Yesterday lives in Rooihoek, a remote village in South Africa's Zululand. Her everyday life is not easy – there's little money, no modern conveniences, and her husband is away in Johannesburg working as a miner – but she possesses a sunny nature, and takes great joy in her 7-year-old daughter, Beauty.

The precarious balance of Yesterday's life is suddenly threatened when she is diagnosed with AIDS, and must journey afar to understand and confront her illness. Yesterday's motivating force is her love for Beauty, who is a year away from starting school. Yesterday never had the chance to go to school herself, and so she sets her sights on a single goal: to be with Beauty on her first day of class, along with all the other proud mothers.

Set against the awesome, harsh landscapes of South Africa, YESTERDAY is an eloquent, unsentimental and beautiful film that quietly builds an overwhelming emotional force. The sure hand of writer/director Darrell James Roodt (Cry, the Beloved Country, Sarafina!) makes Yesterday’s world and her story both authentic and compelling. Above all, the film resonates from the heartbreakingly beautiful face of lead actress Leleti Khumalo, who plays Yesterday.

The first international film ever made in the Zulu language, YESTERDAY is a story of courage, compassion and hope, set in contemporary South Africa ten years after the arrival of democracy.

Review

As beautiful as it is heartbreaking, the Oscar®-nominated drama Yesterday brings an intimate human perspective to the AIDS crisis in Africa. On the surface, it's a harsh and devastating story about bad things happening to good people, but such a limited description robs the film of its warmth and tender compassion. Best known for his 1995 drama Cry the Beloved Country, director Darrell James Roodt returns to his native South Africa for this moving and heartfelt portrait of a young, devoted mother named Yesterday (played by Leleti Khumalo, from Hotel Rwanda) who learns that she is HIV positive, and remains determined to stay alive until her young daughter Beauty (Lihle Mvelase) is old enough to go off to school. Her husband (Kenneth Khambula) is also stricken with AIDS, and Yesterday cares for him even as they are ostracized by fearful neighbors in their tiny Zulu village. One might expect a film about AIDS to be terribly depressing, and Roodt pulls no punches when conveying the emotional anguish of Yesterday's dilemma. But Yesterday is so visually beautiful in terms of its physical and spiritual landscape (it was filmed in the expansive KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa) that it's universally appealing, and the score by Madale Kunene adds just the right emotional seasoning to the film's ethnic roots. Anyone with a beating heart can relate to Yesterday's plight as a caring wife and mother, and Khumalo's performance is so lovely that she lights up the screen, even (and perhaps especially) during Yesterday's darkest hours. Without pounding on its point, Yesterday puts a human face on a global crisis that's too often viewed on impersonal terms. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features:

* Cast and Crew Interviews
* Original Theatrical Trailer
Release date NZ
October 11th, 2006
Length (Minutes)
96
Aspect Ratio
  • 1.78 : 1
Language
Zulu
Subtitles
English
Supported Audio
  • Dolby Digital Surround 5.1
Director
Studio
Genre
  • Drama
Movie Format
  • DVD
DVD Region
  • Region 4
Edition
  • Standard Edition
UPC
9322225042049
Product ID
1521324

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