Colors of Heaven

Also known as A Million Colours, this South African biopic is now available to rent on Amazon Prime. The film was successful at the box office in South Africa as well as getting great reviews from the critics. It screened at several festivals in including here in Montreal and won two South African Academy Awards. It is now trying to break in with North American audiences.

Colors of Heaven is a true life story about Muntu Ndebele, who was once one of South Africa’s most famous movie star. As a teenager in 1975, he fell in love as the country was going to erupt in violence. Muntu’s life became difficult very quickly. He fell in love with a girl whose father had arranged her marriage with a Zulu chief. Also, students in Soweto organized a march against apartheid which erupted in violence leading to many deaths. The country was in turmoil.

Through all this Muntu crossed the wrong man which led to him being hunted down. The young man was on the run. This lead to him fighting for his life in order to survive apartheid and a quest to find redemption. As he is doing this a young white man named Norman Knox (Jason Hartman), who co-starred in the film which made them stars as youngsters, is also fighting a parallel battle.

Inspired by true events this is a tale about two young men set against the backdrop of a country embroiled in turmoil. The kind which could tear it apart. Friendships are tested. Lives are in danger. Redemption is being sought. The struggle of two men alongside the struggle of a nation.

Explorations of the past are littered throughout film history. Here director Peter Bishai mixes a personal story with history. Allows a different sort of insight into what was going on in South Africa at the time. Inspirational to watch.

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