From the film website:
“First released in 1976, this extraordinary motion picture story of two South African children and their dog, Sugarball, touched the hearts of audiences around the world.
Despite the fear, hatred and brutality that plagued South Africa in the mid-1970’s, e’Lollipop told a story of friendship and commitment that transcended racial boundaries.
After nearly being banned in South Africa under Apartheid, it went on to become a cult classic. Shot in Southern Africa, Lesotho and New York, e’Lollipop was seen in over 40 countries and starred local and international talent including the late Ken Gampu, Oscar and Golden Globe Award Winner José Ferrer, and Golden Globe Nominee Karen Valentine.”
It really is a beautiful story. Also from the site:
e’Lollipop is the extraordinary tale of two inseparable South African children – Tsepo (Muntu Ndebele) and his orphaned friend Jannie (Norman Knox). They meet when Jannie’s parents die tragically in a car crash in the Lesotho mountains. Jannie is sent to a missionary station in Tsepo’s village where they become best friends. Together with their dog Sugarball, life is full of childhood fun and antics until tragedy strikes again: Jannie, aged 13, is seriously injured when one of their games goes horribly wrong. Tsepo and his community pull together so that Jannie can receive emergency medical treatment. A daunting challenge lies ahead – and at what cost will Jannie survive?
Tsepo and Jannie’s inspirational story unfolds against the breathtaking backdrops of a dramatic African landscape and New York City in the mid-1970s.
e’Lollipop is a life-changing story that reminds us of the true value of friendship, family, community and sacrifice – despite colour or creed. e’Lollipop is a true
South African classic of international stature that transcended the Apartheid boundaries of its day.
The film is not just a superb drama, it is also hilarious in parts. I can still vividly remember parts of the film even though I have not seen it in nearly 30 years. Who could forget the scene where the two of them dip their recently smacked backsides in to the river, and then go off to the witchdoctor for ointments. And the part where the vendor in New York asks Tshepo “Are you speaking Sotho boy?”, even the toughest cynics had tears in their eyes.