“THERE is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.” These famous opening sentences of Alan Paton’s novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, have been hand-painted onto a boulder in the grounds of Carisbrooke School. The book, to which the film is faithful, tells the story of a black priest, the Reverend Stephen Kumalo, who leaves his impoverished rural parish in Ixopo to go in search of his son Absalom and his sister Gertrude in the townships around Johannesburg. He finds his sister has turned to prostitution and Absalom has murdered the son of a white farmer, James Jarvis. Absalom is convicted and sentenced to death, and Kumalo returns with Gertrude’s son and Absalom’s pregnant wife. The novel ends with the reconciliation of Kumalo and Jarvis.