Lawrence O'Toole
April 16, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Sarafina!

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
performer
Whoopi Goldberg, Miriam Makeba
genre
Drama, musical

We gave it a F

On stage, Mbongeni Ngema’s musicalization of a young, black South African girl’s harsh political education in the turmoil of the townships had a raucous, joyous energy. But any immediacy was lost in the Hollywood version of Sarafina!, and is further reduced on the small screen. This is the Can’t Stop the Music of the black experience: appalling zooms, mindless slow motion, grandiose overheads — the worst of music-video ”creativity” applied to one of the greatest tragedies of our times. F

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