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... 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
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.

Other movies from South Africa made in

Title Country Year Director More infos
The Second Skin South Africa 2000 Darrell Roodt
Kin South Africa 2000 Elaine Proctor
Hijack Stories South Africa 2000 Oliver Schmitz
Apostles of Civilised Vice South Africa 2000 Zackie Achmat
Boeman and Lena South Africa 2000 John Berry
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