Goodbye Bafana

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German title Goodbye Bafana
Original title Goodbye Bafana
Country of production Germany , France , Belgium , South Africa , Italy , Great Britain , Luxembourg
original language English , Xhosa
Publishing year 2007
length 140 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
JMK 10
Director Bille August
script Greg Latter
production Roberto Cipullo ,
Kwesi Dickson ,
Ilann Girard ,
Andro Steinborn ,
Jean-Luc Van Damme ,
David Wicht
music Dario Marianelli
camera Robert Fraisse
cut Hervé Schneid

Goodbye Bafana ( Engl. For Farewell, Bafana ) is a film drama from the year 2007 , which the memoirs of Nelson Mandela's prison guard James Gregory based. Bafana is the name of his black childhood friend who was meant to stay present throughout his life. "Goodbye Bafana" are the words with which James Gregory ends his book of the same name when he says goodbye to Nelson Mandela. The film was shown for the first time at the Berlinale 2007 , and the theatrical release in Germany was April 12, 2007. The film was produced by the companies X Films Creative Pool (Germany), Banana Films (Belgium) and Arsam International (France).


South Africa in 1968: Increasingly strong resistance is forming against the brutal apartheid regime of the National Party . Fearful of losing power, the white government banned all resistance organizations and banished their political leaders to the prison island Robben Island near Cape Town .

Nelson Mandela , for example , who meets the racist prison guard James Gregory on Robben Island. Gregory, who grew up with Xhosa and therefore speaks Mandela's mother tongue Xhosa , becomes head of the censorship department and controls the mail and the conversations of the prisoners. In the course of time he got to know Nelson Mandela better and better and the former racist Gregory became a supporter of the fight for a free South Africa.


  • Rolf von der Reith wrote in TV digital 8/2007 that the exciting story was unfortunately told too well and slowly, but among the woodcut-like characters in the film, the 24- star Dennis Haysbert would convince.
  • Film service: The film tells how in the man who was shaped by the apartheid regime, respect for the prisoner gradually grows across racial boundaries and an intimate friendship develops. The production makes use of many disturbing moments, the historical credibility of which is doubtful. A luxurious and noble dream with no connection to the real events.
  • Goodbye Bafana wants to tell the story of the development of a racist man and, based on his example, that of such a regime. But this happens in leaps and bounds, not step by step, and is therefore hardly comprehensible and involving. After a few scenes together that offer little opportunity for a believable rapprochement between the two main characters, Gregory already takes Mandela's side, so that everything that follows lacks tension and surprise.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Goodbye Bafana . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , April 2007 (PDF; test number: 109 455 K).
  2. Age rating for Goodbye Bafana . Youth Media Commission .
  3. See