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A World Apart (film)

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Title: A World Apart (film)  
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Subject: 1988 National Society of Film Critics Awards, 1988 Cannes Film Festival, Linda Mvusi, Jodhi May, Barbara Hershey
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A World Apart (film)

A World Apart
A World Apart (Video Cover)
Directed by Chris Menges
Produced by Sarah Radclyffe
Written by Shawn Slovo
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Peter Biziou
Edited by Nicholas Gaster
Distributed by Atlantic Releasing Corporation
Release dates
  • 17 June 1988 (1988-06-17)
Running time
113 minutes
Country United Kingdom / Zimbabwe
Language English

A World Apart is a 1988 anti-Apartheid drama, written by Shawn Slovo and directed by Chris Menges. It is based on the lives of Slovo's parents, Ruth First and Joe Slovo. The film was a co-production between companies from the UK and Zimbabwe, where the movie was filmed. It features Hans Zimmer's first non-collaborative film score.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Reception 3
  • Awards and nominations 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Set in Johannesburg in 1963, the film examines the abrupt ending of 13-year-old Molly's blithe childhood when her father, a member of the South African Communist Party, is sent into exile. Ostracised by her peers, Molly draws closer to her mother as she attempts to further the campaign against apartheid. Their relationship is challenged by hardship, political intimidation, and the older woman's eventual arrest.

The film title references both the gap between the mother and her teenage girl, who fails to grasp why their family is so fixated with events beyond their comfortable suburb, and another separating this world from that of South Africa's poverty-stricken black townships. Essentially, the film is a tribute to Ruth First by her daughter and concludes in a moment of epiphany as Molly comes to terms with her mother's activism and understands that she too must play a part in the struggle to protest racial injustice.



A World Apart has an overall approval rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.[1]

Awards and nominations

  • 1989: Winner – BAFTA Best Screenplay Shawn Slowo
  • 1989: Nominee – BAFTA Best Supporting Actor David Suchet
  • 1988: Winner – 1988 Cannes Film Festival, Best Actress (tie): Jodhi May, Barbara Hershey, and Linda Mvusi[2]
  • 1988: Nominee – Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm[2]
  • 1988: Winner – Cannes Film Festival Special Grand Prize of the Jury: Chris Menges[2]
  • 1988: Winner – Cannes Film Festival Price of the Ecumenical Jury: Chris Menges[2]
  • 1988: Winner – Evening Standard British Film Award Jodhi May – Most Promising Newcomer
  • 1989: Nominee – Independent Spirit Award Best Foreign Film
  • 1988: Winner – New York Film Critics Circle Awards Chris Menges – Best Director
  • 1989: Winner - Best Foreign Language Film, 25th Guldbagge Awards (Sweden)[3]


  1. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Festival de Cannes: A World Apart". Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  3. ^ "A World Apart (1988)". Swedish Film Institute. 16 March 2014. 

External links

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