The Color of Friendship

Movie review by Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media
The Color of Friendship Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 9+

Smart Disney drama tackles race and apartheid; racist slurs.

NR 2000 87 minutes

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 1 review

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Community Reviews

age 8+

Pretty good Disney drama mixes feel good story with racism, politics, police brutality

Recommended by Common Sense for bringing up race issues, my 8 year old and I both really liked it, even though she had expected a happier ending (more like the Disney princess movies). The story is moving along pretty fast, the acting is surprisingly good, and despite some predictable moments, it is fun to watch. The plot is sweet and relatable: An American family wants to take in an exchange student and a South African family wants to send one, and the two girls (13-14 year old) become friends. There is an early, great plot twist that makes the movie more enjoyable. What is astounding is that this 80 minute movie deals with racism, politics, and police brutality. It is all set in the late '70s , against the backdrop of Steve Beko's capture and death at the hands of South African police. Several characters are entitled, prejudiced or racist, others are on the receiving end of this. The movie displays their actions and goes to great length to show how peoples' lives and thinking are part of a society that acts and thinks that way. The story does a great job of not avoiding hard issues but also addressing them in a way that young children can understand and grasp. There are some tense and sad scenes, but nothing that upset my daughter too much. The "unhappy" ending is that the South African student goes back home even though she seems much happier in a free country with her American hosts. But she is clearly ready to help make a change at home and she inspired her American hosts to be less prejudiced.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 18+

sense able media for kids

Movie Details

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