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A Dry White Season
SUBJECTS — World/South Africa;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Courage; Justice; Human Rights;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Trustworthiness, Responsibility; Citizenship.
Age: 14+; Rated R for scenes of graphic violence; Drama; 1989; 107 minutes; Color.
This is the story of a white man who is awakened to the brutality and injustice of apartheid South Africa and of the government's brutal effort to suppress dissent.
A Dry White Season shows that sometimes, no matter what the cost and no matter how futile it may seem, one must take action to oppose injustice. The film also explores the personal cost of resisting social injustice that is accepted by one's community and maintained by a brutal government. The movie can serve as an introduction to the now abandoned apartheid system of South Africa, the Special Branch (secret police), economic, and political oppression of the townships (the Bantu System), and the arguments used to justify apartheid.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to A Dry White Season provides background and discussion questions to help teachers explore the themes of the film.
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A Dry White Season is a tale of what happens when the police state turns on a member of its elite.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below a paragraph from the Learning Guide to A Dry White Season.
Racial tensions in South Africa date back at least to the eighteenth century when Dutch settlers expanding inland from the coast met Xhosa tribes expanding to the south and west. Though defeated militarily by the British in 1902, the Boers (descendents of Dutch, French and German colonists) gained the upper hand in 1910, when the Union of South Africa was formed. Almost immediately, the new government began to restrict the rights of blacks and persons of Indian or mixed descent. In 1948 the South African government adopted apartheid policies which excluded the black majority from nearly all facets of political, economic, and social life. Africans were relegated to impoverished "homelands." When blacks began to resist apartheid, beginning in the late 1950s, the South African government responded with repressive police state tactics.
The Learning Guide to the film A Dry White Season contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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