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Master Harold and the Boys

Set in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, during the early apartheid days, the story deals with the coming of age of seventeen year old Hally (played by Freddie Highmore).

Hally, a white South African, has a troubled relationship with his biological father and is torn between his father’s expectations and opinions of him and those of his surrogate fathers, black waiters named Sam (played by Ving Rhames) and Willie (played by Patrick Mofokeng). Young Hally is obliged to laugh at his father’s racist jokes and perform humiliating tasks like empty chamber pots. By contrast, Sam exposes Hally to many positive experiences. After being humiliated by his father, Sam shows Hally how to be proud of something he’s achieved by helping him build and fly his own kite.

One day, Hally receives news that his real father, a violent alcoholic, is coming back home from a long stint in a hospital. Hally, distraught with this news, unleashes years of anger and pain on his two black friends.

Based on the  play by Athol Fugard.



Directed by Lonny Price
Produced by Spier Films; Focus Films; Light and Dark Films
Director of Photography: Lance Gewer
Written by Nicky Rebello and based on the original theatre play of Athol Fugard
Lead character: Freddie Highmore as Hally
Supporting roles: Ving Rhames as Sam  and Patrick Mofokeng as Willie


Opening Film and Audience Award – Cape Winelands Film Festival 2011

News and Reviews

Screenforum – “A beautiful coming of age story”

Indiewire – “Master Harold and the Boys” with Ving Rhames Finally Gets Release

Examiner – Movie Review: Master Harold… and the Boys

Screen Africa – US & SA release for ” Master Harold and the Boys”