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Cry freedom: Character – Donald Woods. (Describe a main character) Essay Sample

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Cry freedom: Character – Donald Woods. (Describe a main character) Essay Sample

A main character in the film ‘Cry Freedom’ directed and produced by Richard Attenborough was Donald Woods. Donald Woods is a 41-year-old white Afrikaan editor. He is married with 5 children, 2 girls and 3 boys. They all live together in a huge mansion with a pool in the yard. They also have an African maid named Evelyn. He has greying hair, glasses and a cheerful personality. He also considered himself a white liberal.

At the beginning Donald Woods was blind and ignorant to what Stephen Biko, black political leader, was about. He thought he was “some sensationalist pushing black prejudice”. When a time came and he had to write an article for his newspaper, he just assumed what Steve would say. He didn’t know or understand Steve so as a result, all his assumptions were wrong. A black doctor and friend to Steve Biko, Ms Rampele, confronted Woods about this. She told him that if he is the honest editor he claims to be, he should meet and get to know Steve and his cause before spreading vicious rumours in his newspaper. This led Donald Woods to become close friends with Steve Biko and a respected man among Black Consciousness members.

Donald Woods learnt a lot from Steve Biko. Not just about Black Conscious and the rights that had been stolen from the black natives of South Africa, but about living peacefully. During one of the first illegal outings Steve took Donald on, Steve told Donald in a light-hearted tome that someday the tables would be turned and that one day blacks will hold government over that Afrikaans but they would do it differently. They would accept the Afrikaans and forgive them for their past.

Donald realised how faulty the Afrikaan government was after visiting with Captain Kruger. He went to visit him to ask him to sort out his police force, especially Captain de Wet. Steve and Kruger had a lovely chat and had whisky in the garden

It was touching how Donald could ignore all he was taught and shown while he was growing up.

After Steve died after being given ‘the democratic right to starve himself’ in a jail cell, Donald amazed me by risking his own life for a cause that would put white power in South Africa in jeopardy. During this, it also showed how accepted among the natives he had become. They respected that he had taken a stand for what’s right. That he could go against the Afrikaans Government because he believed in Black Consciousness so strongly.

For a while, at the beginning of the film, Donald Woods seemed like a rich, disrespectful white Afrikaan. Once he realised the injustice being done to the black Africans he changed. He tried to let the world know what was happening. The film portrayed Donald Woods as one of the only Afrikaans who cared enough to take a stand against what was happening to the Black South Africans

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