GenreDrama Music directorHans Zimmer WriterShawn Slovo LanguageEnglish
Release date17 June 1988 (1988-06-17) CastJodhi May (Molly Roth), Jeroen Krabbé (Gus Roth), Barbara Hershey (Diana Roth), Tim Roth (Harold) Similar moviesShawn Slovo wrote the screenplay for A World Apart and Catch a Fire
TaglineSouth Africa, 1963. A mother's love. A family's courage.
Jodhi may a world apart 1988 trailer
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.
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.
Jodhi May – Molly Roth
Jeroen Krabbé – Gus Roth
Barbara Hershey – Diana Roth
Linda Mvusi – Elsie
Nadine Chalmers – Yvonne Abelson
Kate Fitzpatrick – June Abelson
Tim Roth – Harold
Carolyn Clayton-Cragg – Myriam Roth
Yvonne Bryceland – Bertha
Merav Gruer – Jude Roth
Paul Freeman – Kruger
Rosalie Crutchley – Mrs. Harris
Adrian Dunbar – Le Roux
David Suchet – Muller
Nomaziko Zondo – Thandile
A World Apart has an overall approval rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.
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
1988: Nominee – Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm
1988: Winner – Cannes Film Festival Special Grand Prize of the Jury: Chris Menges
1988: Winner – Cannes Film Festival Price of the Ecumenical Jury: Chris Menges
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)