Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson's musical Lost in the Stars is based on Alan Paton's classic novel Cry, The Beloved Country. This film, like the stage musical and the book it was based on, is a moving indictment of racial hatred, made at the height of apartheid.
Lost in the Stars tells the story of small town South African preacher Steven Kumalo, who travels to Johannesburg to find his estranged son. He finds a city where inequalities are magnified, and oppression is virtually impossible to escape, and events spiral into tragedy.
Kurt Weill's score is suitably powerful, with much more depth and intensity than the average musical, with a special emphasis on the chorus. Weill seems to successfully create a bridge between popular music and opera - indeed, the piece has been performed by many operatic companies.
The AFT film of Lost in the Stars is a heartbreaking plea for compassion and humanity in the face of cruelty, adversity and struggle, and it is a film that remains powerful and relevant today.