A World Apart (film)

A World Apart is a 1988 anti-apartheid drama film and directed by Chris Menges and starring Barbara Hershey, David Suchet, Jeroen Krabbé, Paul Freeman, Tim Roth, and Jodhi May. Written by Shawn Slovo, 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 it was filmed. It features Hans Zimmer's first non-collaborative film score.

A World Apart
A world apart.jpg
A World Apart (Video Cover)
Directed byChris Menges
Produced bySarah Radclyffe
Written byShawn Slovo
Music byHans Zimmer
CinematographyPeter Biziou
Edited byNicholas Gaster
Distributed byAtlantic Releasing Corporation
Release date
  • 17 June 1988 (1988-06-17)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom / Zimbabwe
Box office$2,326,860


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, flees into exile. Ostracised by her peers, Molly draws closer to her mother who is part of the campaign against apartheid. Their relationship is challenged by hardship, political intimidation, and the mother'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 white 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 against racial injustice.



A World Apart has an overall approval rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes from 9 critics.[1]

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d "Festival de Cannes: A World Apart". festival-cannes.com. Archived from the original on 20 August 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  3. ^ "A World Apart (1988)". Swedish Film Institute. 16 March 2014.

External linksEdit