What You Need To Know:
The actors in A MILLION COLOURS succeed in portraying the desperation and frustration of life during Apartheid. The story, however, covers too much territory. It is very evangelistic, but to get there, there’s witchcraft, drug use and lots of violence. It has one of the best endings of a recent movie, but it is hard to imagine that many people of faith and values will sit through some of the extreme material to get to the ending. MOVIEGUIDE® hopes, however, that millions of people see the movie and realize that Jesus Christ is the only answer.
(CCC, BB, ACAC, PaPa, OO, LL, VVV, S, N, AAA, DD, AC, MMM) Very strong Christian evangelistic, moral, biblical story with a strong biblical perspective with one main character repeatedly fighting for truth, mercy, friendship, and compassion, one man’s mother and a pastor adamantly encourage repentance and acceptance of the forgiveness of Christ, with a refutation of drugs, extramarital sex, cruelty, political violence, racism, members of the army who make many anti-communist statements, and many elderly men and women believe in the powers of “magical bones” and witch doctors; at least 12 obscenities (including some “f” words); very strong violence includes many battle scenes where both schoolchildren and adults are shot, rocks are thrown at people, people are lit on fire, woman burned alive with a tire around her neck, people are beaten with clubs and rocks, people are electrically shocked, fistfights break out, bombs are set off inside cars, man crushes man’s leg with rock, woman shot in stomach and becomes barren, and biting; some sexual content, including one young woman tries to get her boyfriend to sleep with her so she can lose her virginity, it is implied that one main male character sleeps with a girl and gets her pregnant, tribal chief forces himself on his young wife; natural nudity among Zulu tribesmen who do not wear shirts and tribeswomen who wear bikini-like tops; main character becomes an alcoholic and a drug addict; and, racism against Africans, main character steals cars, men set off bombs in cars, young girl is sold by her family to be the wife of a chief (who’s at least twice her age), and villain lies, cheats, steals.
MILLION COLOURS is based on the lives of two South African child movie stars, Muntu Ndebele and Norman Knox, during the years following the success of the iconic South African movie, E’LOLLIPOP. In the midst of Apartheid, their movie, E’LOLLIPOP, helped people understand that friendship could exist between the races. Years later, in 1976, Norman Knox and Muntu are still friends, and they’re still benefitting financially from the movie.
A MILLION COLOURS tells the story of these two former child movie stars as it unfolds in the height of the South African apartheid era. Norman, having been conscripted into the South African defense force as a conscientious objector, refuses to fight for the apartheid system and works hard to spread the idea that friendship can exist across racial barriers. Muntu, having fallen in love with Sabela, struggles to survive on the streets as he lives a life of crime, violence and debauchery. Through a series of bad decisions and unfortunate circumstances he seems destined to fail in his dream to marry Sabela. Feeling abandoned by Norman, his best friend, Muntu turns to alcohol and drugs as his only mechanism to cope. Both men struggle to find truth and hope in a time of national turmoil.
The actors in A Million Colours succeed in portraying the desperation and frustration of life during the dark days of apartheid. The cinematography, direction and acting are excellent. The narrative, however, has to move quickly because the story covers a long period of time. Although it contains witchcraft, drug use and lots of violence, it is essentially a message of ‘redemption through suffering’ and builds up to an ending that is full of hope and promise. The underlying message is that the God of the Gospel is the God of fresh starts. It’s hard to imagine, however, that many media-wise viewers will sit through some of the extreme material in order to get to the uplifting ending.
MOVIEGUIDE® hopes, however, that millions of people see the movie and get the message. Jesus is the only answer, not right wing or left wing politics, not wealth or poverty, only Jesus Christ.