Escape from Pretoria (Escape from Pretoria) is a 2020 feature film based on true events that occurred in South Africa. It stars English actor Daniel Radcliffe, best known for starring in the film saga Harry Potteralong with Australian Daniel Webber (11.22.63).
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Directed by Francis Annan, the film tells the true story of two white men classified as terrorists who were imprisoned in 1978. Both made history when they escaped from the maximum security prison in Pretoria (capital of Southern Africa).
Running for just under two hours (101 minutes), the prison and racism drama is inspired by the book Escape Inside Out: from Pretoria Prison, by South African author Tim Jenkin. The latter worked closely with the filmmaker in charge of the production to take care of every detail that happened in real life.
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Radcliffe played Jenkin himself, while Webber played Stephen Lee. Escape from Pretoria is set in the 70s, the same in which Nelson Mandela he was in prison. This era lived the most representative moments of the movement against Apartheid. Even in the film it is observed how one of the guards mocked the inmate by calling him “the white Mandela”.
The film has a 73% rating from critics, according to the website Rotten Tomatoes. About his story, it has been said that it is heartbreaking and solid, among other terms. For example, Peter Bradshaw of Guardianwrote: “There’s something about it that’s nice in a traditional way, with tense moments, scarred-faced guards, and touches reminiscent of The Great Escape”.
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On the other hand, Noel Murray of Los Angeles TimesHe opined: “It helps that director Francis Annan keeps the action focused on the mechanics of escape and not on big political speeches.” Guy Lodge of VarietyHe added that it works effectively as a prison break thriller, “well-oiled in the greasy B-movie tradition. It’s when it aims for greater historical significance that it falls a bit short.”
Escape from Pretoria is an intense drama film in which its director invites the viewer to witness the violence and injustice to which Tim Jenkin and Stephen Lee were subjected. It is available in the HBO Max catalog.
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