Parents' Guide to


By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Sobering musical about apartheid includes brutal violence.

Movie PG-13 1992 117 minutes
Sarafina! Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

For teens and higher

The movie shows some realistic and some unrealistic views on police and higher officials in black communities. Lots of violence and other things but does have good moments and lessons In it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

SARAFINA! creates an odd juxtaposition between a harsh look at a brutal chapter in South Africa's history and musical numbers with Bollywood-style choreography. More deftly woven together, the two aspects of the movie could have created a more powerful and fuller picture of the people and events toward the end of apartheid. But the music and dance are essentially abandoned by the middle third and leave the viewer a bit perplexed by what exactly the filmmakers were trying to accomplish.

Structural flaws aside, Sarafina! tells a powerful story through the eyes of an engaging heroine today's teens will easily relate to thanks to Khumato's strong performance. Whoopi Goldberg no doubt brought a lot of Hollywood star power to the project at the time but now creates a slightly dated feel: It's not her strongest performance, and she doesn't quite pull off the accent. But it's a thought-provoking story worth telling and watching because it asks important questions teens will have to answer for themselves, about how to achieve social justice and about why oppression and rebellion are sadly as relevant today as they were when Nelson Mandela was still in jail.

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