Cry, the Beloved Country (1995) Darrell Roodt, a South African director, brings James Earl Jones and Richard Harris together in this very faithful adaptation of Alan Paton’s groundbreaking novel against apartheid. This stunning narrative, that addresses issues of social injustice and capital punishment, has been adapted into several films and plays, most notably Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill’s musical “Lost in the Stars” (1949).
Japan chose samurai decapitation,
While China slowly sliced up each victim;
Ancient Persia used ash for suffocation;
Ottoman Turks shot convicts from a cannon.
The effete French employed “peine forte et dure”
That Salem witch trials tried on Giles Corey
Who cried out, “More Weight,” but did not endure,
While his words remained accusatory.
A friend of mine, given a front row seat,
Witnessed Saudi Arabian justice,
Castrating queers, hacking hands off cheats,
Beheading dissidents with gleeful malice.
The easiest way is to give the crowd
Rocks and let honor killing do its job.
Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was shoved
Down a hole, her head bludgeoned by a mob.
How hard it is for States to discover
A merciful method for punishment:
Lethal injections, hangings, gas chamber,
Electric chair, firing squads came and went.
Apartheid’s invisible to the eye —
To the white eye, but not to the black
Young men who continue to occupy
American prisons, with no way back.
Raised between pawnshop or sweatshop,
Either you go to jail or get shot by a cop.
[Disposable Poem September 20, 2016]