Boeman and Lena (South Africa: 2000)


John Berry

Cast list

Danny Glover         Boesman
Angela Bassett        Lena
Willie Jonah             Old Man
Graham Weir          Recycle Man
Anton Stoltz            Farmer


Writing Credits: Athol Fugard (play), John Berry (adaptation)
Producer                           François Ivernel
Pierre Rissient
Co-Producers                   Jeremy Nathan
John Stodel
Associate Producer       Wren T. Brown
Assistant Producer        Shireen Hattingh
Line Producer                  Nina Heyns
Prod. Manager                 Alan Shearer
Prod. Coordinator           Jo Kirsten
Assistant Directors         Wendy Alport
Claire Letoret
Assistant Accountant   Alida Rubens
Composer                          Wally Badarou
Conductor                         Régis Dupré
Cinematographer         Alain Choquart
Script Supervisor           Bénédicte Kermadec
Editors                                Jeanne Moutard
Isabelle Julien
Casting Directors           Leo Davis
Jackie Mayou
Casting Associates         Leo Davis
Alyssa Weisberg
Stunt Coordinator          Antony Mo Marais
Production Designer     Max Berto
Art Directors                    Michael Berg

Mike Berg
Set Decorator                  Fred Du Preez
Makeup Artists               Kashka Banjoko
Diane Hammond
Debbie Hare
Makkie Slamong
Cameraman                    Alan Read
Sound Technician         Edouard d’Heucqueville
Sound Editor                   Eric Bizet
Special Effects               Mario Duthie
Mickey Kirsten
Max Poolman
Vasili Rinquest



Set during the Apartheid era, an old couple, Boesman and Lena, are forced to search for shelter after being driven out of their home. As they traverse through the South African Cape Flats, Lena is haunted by reminiscences of happier times, fueling her desire to find answers and her purpose in life. Boesman, on the other hand, is consumed by his anger, fear, and vindictiveness, resorting to grossly abusing both alcohol and his wife to divert and desensitize himself from his predicaments. Amid their journey, they encounter an old, lonely Xhosa tribesman, who is also searching for sustenance and refuge. His presence not only alters their lives, but also personifies their adversity brought on by the apartheid.


 A.O. Scott, NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW; Fugard’s Wrenching Tale of Lost Hope and Youth. The New York Times (newspaper)

David Parkinson, Boesman and Lena: Apartheid drama starring Danny Glover and Angela Bassett. Empire (magazine)

Liam Lacey, Out of Africa, a predictable history lesson. The Globe and Mail (newspaper)

Lisa Schwarzbaum, MOVIE REVIEW: Boesman & Lena (2000). Entertainment Weekly (magazine)

Michael Thomson, Boesman and Lena (2001). BBC Movies (website)

T.J., Boesman & Lena. Time Out London (online magazine)

Todd McCarthy, Review: ‘Boesman & Lena’. Variety (magazine)

Academic Articles:
Angotti, Vincent L. Educational Theatre Journal 23.4 (1971): 467-70.

Barbera, Jack. “Fugard as Director: An Interview with the Cast of ‘Boesman and Lena’.” Twentieth Century Literature 39.4 (1993): 430.

Foley, Andrew. “Multiple Levels of Meaning and Liberal Existentialism in Athol Fugard’s Boesman and Lena.” South African Theatre Journal 15.1 (2001): 40-55.

Fugard, Athol. Boesman and Lena and Other Plays. 1978.

Harrow, Kenneth. “Boesman and Lena and Other Plays by Athol Fugard.” World Literature Today 53.4 (1979): p. 735.

Levy, Frank. “Fugard’s Boesman and Lena: Physical and Mental Exhaustion.” Yale Theatre 4.1 (1973): 73-80.

McLuckie, Craig W. “Power, Self, and Other: The Absurd in `Boesman and Lena’.” Twentieth Century Literature 39.4 (1993): 423.

Pryce, Vinette K. “‘Boesman and Lena’ Testifies to Pain and Agony.” New York Amsterdam News 91.44 (2000): 29.

Torrens, J. S. “Boesman and Lena.” America 166.10 (1992): 250-1.

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Boeman and Lena South Africa 2000 John Berry
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