USA title: KILLING HEAT (100 mins) 1982
Production: SFI, Sweden & ITM, London & Chibote Ltd, Zambia
Based on the novel by DORIS LESSING (Nobel Laureate)
Written and directed by MICHAEL RAEBURN
Producer: Mark Forstater
Camera: BILLE AUGUST
Production Designer: Disley Jones
Editor: Tom Shwalm
Starring : KAREN BLACK, JOHN THAW, JOHN KANI
Distribution: International cinema and television
"Karen Black is excellent as a lonely woman who marries farmer John Thaw and cannot adjust to life in the African woodland" *** - Leonard Maltins's Guide.
SAN FRANCISCO, TORONTO, LONDON, CAPE TOWN; "BEST FILM" SYDNEY.
Selection of reviews:-
- "Karen Black triumphs in one of the most demanding roles of her career. The film takes us into a world as beautiful as it is harsh, and we can all but feel the heat that's so unbearable. It ends on a note of authentic ambiguity that few films attain" Kelvin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
- "Brilliantly reflects the uncommon intensity and insight of Doris Lessing's work" Judy Stone, San Francisco Chronicle
- "Director Raeburn has elicited understated, finely tuned performances" Steven Holden, New York Times
- "Facinating. Black gives her finest performance tracing the sexual repression and despairing angers of a woman on the edge" Judith Crist, WOR-TV
- "Shows us the African landscape in a hundred exquisite details and large panoramas, and the screen is so filled with light and movement that I had the feeling I could walk right in it"
Nancy Scott, San Francisco Examiner
- "Location footage is stunning in this handsome, high-quality production" Variety
United Kingdom :
- "Doris Lessing is a novelist of distinction, how reassuring to find hertalent positivley shining forth from The Grass Is Singing" Daily Telegraph, UK
- "It has courage and crackle.. full of fine, barbed meditations on barbarism, both black and white" Financial Times
- "Fine literary edaptation. Karen outstanding. Michael Raeburn directs with an appropriate mystical edge" The Guardian, UK
- "This dramatically potent adaptation has visual authenticity.. script and direction capture the quality of Lessing's best writing" Time Out
- "A film Peter Weir might have made had not Michael Raeburn got there first" New Musical Express.
- "John Thaw - a superb, unstinting performance. One of the few films which treats Africa not as a political problem or a suitable location for racey adventure, but as an environment that dictates the human drama of its inhabitants" Daily Mail, UK
- "The atmosphere evoked is one of considerable tension. Raeburn has brought it all together very well and created a succint and very interesting film" BBC
- " 'The Grass Is Singing' is a Third World 'Stromboli' with K. Black in the Ingrid Bergman part" Filmworld, Canada
- "Provides the exhilaration of a drama well spun. There is an emotional tension of classical tragedy" Weekend Australia
- "Steaming atmosphere.. The film's strength is in the moment where man stands against the environment" Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden
- "Has the psychic power of a strange and terrible dream. As a metaphor for the traumas of our country it may well be prophetic" Cape Times, South Africa.