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June 08, 1988|JOHN VOLAND and DEBORAH CAULFIELD | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

After months of delays and official threats, Sir Richard Attenborough's film "Cry Freedom"--documenting the death of black student leader Steven Biko and the persecution of white publisher Donald Woods--will be released in South Africa next month, the distributors said Tuesday. Peter Dignan, managing director of United International Pictures South Africa, said the decision to release the film was made after meetings with senior management in London. "I have been instructed to initiate the release of 'Cry Freedom' on July 29 throughout South Africa," he said. Asked whether the distributors were defying the government's strict security laws, Dignan would say only: "We are still in correspondence with the Ministry of Justice." The film about Biko, who died in police custody in 1977, was approved by South African censors in November last year.

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