Sarafina! (film) Set in turbulent South Africa, the movie tells of a young student in Soweto who is inspired by a teacher, Mary Masembuko, to take pride in herself and her heritage. When Mary is sent to prison for stepping outside the prescribed curriculum, Sarafina and her schoolmates must choose between violence and nonviolent means of protest. A school musical production celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela, with Sarafina in the lead, eventually does take place amid the burnt ruins of the schoolyard. Initial release on September 18, 1992; general release on September 25, 1992. Directed by Darrell James Roodt. A Hollywood Pictures film, in association with Miramax Films, Videovision Enterprises, Les Films Ariane, Vanguard Films, and the BBC. 101 min. Stars Whoopi Goldberg (Mary Masembuco), Miriam Makeba (Angelina), John Kani (school principal), Mbongeni Ngema (Sabela), Leleti Khumalo (Sarafina). Based on the play by Mbongeni Ngema. Filmed on location in Soweto, South Africa. Released on video in 1993. The director’s cut was released on laser disc, adding about 20 minutes to the length.