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How Tim Jenkin and Stephen Lee Used Wooden Keys to Escape from Pretoria Prison

Escape from Pretoria: A Thrilling True Story of Freedom and Resistance

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to escape from a maximum-security prison in South Africa during the apartheid era? If so, you might want to check out Escape from Pretoria, a movie that tells the incredible story of two anti-apartheid activists who did just that. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about this movie, including what it is about, who stars in it, why you should watch it, and how you can watch it.

What is Escape from Pretoria?

Escape from Pretoria is a 2020 British-Australian thriller film directed by Francis Annan and written by Annan and L.H. Adams. It is based on the 2003 book Inside Out: Escape from Pretoria Prison by Tim Jenkin, one of the escapees. The film premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on June 22, 2019, and was released in theaters and on video on demand on March 6, 2020.

escape from pretoria

The plot of the movie

The movie follows the true story of Tim Jenkin (Daniel Radcliffe) and Stephen Lee (Daniel Webber), two young white South Africans who were imprisoned in 1978 for working covert operations for Nelson Mandela's banned African National Congress (ANC). They were sentenced to 12 and 8 years respectively at the notorious Pretoria Central Prison, where they were subjected to harsh conditions and brutal treatment by the guards. Determined to escape and continue their fight against apartheid, they devised a daring plan to break out of their cells using wooden keys that they crafted for 10 steel doors. Along with another inmate, Alex Moumbaris (Mark Leonard Winter), they managed to pull off one of the most audacious prison escapes in history.

The cast and crew of the movie

The movie features a talented cast of actors who bring the characters to life. Daniel Radcliffe, best known for his role as Harry Potter in the popular film series, plays Tim Jenkin, the mastermind behind the escape plan. Daniel Webber, who starred as Lee Harvey Oswald in the TV series 11.22.63, plays Stephen Lee, Jenkin's friend and fellow activist. Mark Leonard Winter, who appeared in The Dressmaker and The Social Network, plays Alex Moumbaris, another inmate who joins them in their escape attempt. Ian Hart, who also starred in the Harry Potter films as Professor Quirrell, plays Denis Goldberg, a veteran ANC leader who was also imprisoned at Pretoria. Other actors include Nathan Page as Mongo, Grant Piro as Schnepel, Adam Ovadia as Van Zyl, and Adam Tuominen as Leonard Fontaine.

The movie was directed by Francis Annan, who also co-wrote the screenplay with L.H. Adams. Annan is a British filmmaker who has directed several short films and TV episodes. He was inspired by Jenkin's book and met with him personally to learn more about his story. He also visited the actual prison where the escape took place and recreated it faithfully for the film. The movie was produced by David Barron, Mark Blaney, Jackie Sheppard, Gary Hamilton, Michelle Krumm, and Dana Lustig. The music was composed by David Hirschfelder, who has worked on films such as Shine, Elizabeth, and Australia.

The historical background of the movie

The movie is set in South Africa during the apartheid era, which lasted from 1948 to 199 The apartheid era in South Africa was a period of racial segregation and oppression that lasted from 1948 to 1994. During this time, the white minority government enforced a system of laws and policies that discriminated against the non-white majority, especially the Black Africans, who were forced to live in separate areas, use separate facilities, and suffer from economic and political marginalization. The apartheid regime also faced resistance from various groups and individuals who opposed its unjust and inhumane practices, such as the African National Congress (ANC), which was led by Nelson Mandela and fought for a democratic and non-racial South Africa.

Escape from Pretoria is a movie that depicts one of the most remarkable acts of defiance and courage against the apartheid system. It tells the true story of Tim Jenkin, Stephen Lee, and Alex Moumbaris, three white South Africans who were imprisoned in Pretoria Central Prison for their involvement in the ANC's underground activities. They managed to escape from their cells using wooden keys that they made themselves, and fled to freedom in 1979. The movie is based on Jenkin's book Inside Out: Escape from Pretoria Prison, which he wrote after his escape. The movie stars Daniel Radcliffe as Jenkin, Daniel Webber as Lee, Mark Leonard Winter as Moumbaris, and Ian Hart as Denis Goldberg, another ANC leader who was also jailed in Pretoria.

Why should you watch Escape from Pretoria?

There are many reasons why you should watch Escape from Pretoria, whether you are interested in history, drama, or suspense. Here are some of them:

The movie is based on a true story

One of the most compelling aspects of Escape from Pretoria is that it is based on a true story that really happened. The movie does not embellish or exaggerate the facts, but rather stays faithful to the events and the characters as they were. The movie also shows the actual footage of the escapees after they reached freedom, as well as interviews with them and other people who were involved in their story. This adds a layer of authenticity and realism to the movie that makes it more engaging and inspiring.

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The movie showcases the struggle against apartheid

Another reason why you should watch Escape from Pretoria is that it showcases the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. The movie does not shy away from showing the brutality and injustice of the system, as well as the courage and resilience of those who resisted it. The movie also explores the moral dilemmas and personal conflicts that the escapees faced, such as their loyalty to their cause, their friendship with each other, and their relationship with their families. The movie also highlights the diversity and solidarity of the anti-apartheid movement, as it shows how people of different races, backgrounds, and ideologies joined forces to fight for a common goal.

The movie is a gripping thriller with ingenious escapes

A third reason why you should watch Escape from Pretoria is that it is a gripping thriller with ingenious escapes. The movie keeps you on the edge of your seat as you follow the escapees' plan to break out of their prison. The movie shows how they used their intelligence, creativity, and resourcefulness to make wooden keys for 10 steel doors, using only wood scraps, paper clips, and other materials they could find in their cells. The movie also shows how they avoided detection by the guards, timed their movements with precision, and overcame various obstacles and challenges along the way. The movie is a testament to the human spirit and its ability to overcome adversity.

How to watch Escape from Pretoria?

If you are interested in watching Escape from Pretoria, you have several options to choose from. Here are some of them:

The movie is available on Netflix and other platforms

One of the easiest ways to watch Escape from Pretoria is to stream it on Netflix. The movie was released on Netflix on June 6, 2020, and you can watch it anytime you want with a subscription. You can also rent or buy the movie on other platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies & TV, YouTube Movies, iTunes, Vudu, FandangoNOW, Redbox On Demand.

The movie has received positive reviews from critics and audiences

Another reason why you might want to watch Escape from Pretoria is that it has received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. The movie has a 73% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 44 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Escape from Pretoria doesn't quite do justice to the fact-based story it's based on, but Daniel Radcliffe's


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