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The Power of One

  PG-13 HD Closed Captioning

John G. Avildsen

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Plot Summary

"The Power of One" is an intriguing story of a young English boy named P.K. and his passion for changing the world. Growing up he suffered as the only English boy in an Afrikaans school. Soon orphaned, he was placed in the care of a German national named Professor von Vollensteen (a.k.a. "Doc"), a friend of his grandfather. Doc develops P.K.'s piano talent and P.K. becomes "assistant gardener" in Doc's cactus garden. It is not long after WWII begins that Doc is placed in prison for failure to register with the English government as a foreigner. P.K. makes frequent visits and meets Geel Piet, an inmate, who teaches him to box. Geel Piet spreads the myth of the Rainmaker, the one who brings peace to all of the tribes. P.K. is cast in the light of this myth. After the war P.K. attends an English private school where he continues to box. He meets a young girl, Maria, with whom he falls in love. Her father, Professor Daniel Marais, is a leader of the Nationalist Party of South Africa. The two fight to teach the natives English as P.K.'s popularity grows via the myth. Maria is killed. P.K. loses focus until he sees the success of his language school among the tribes. He and Guideon Duma continue the work in hopes of building a better future for Africa.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 18
  • Fresh: 7
  • Rotten: 11
  • Average Rating: 5.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: The film's facile treatment of racial issues may be enough to bring back the practice of throwing tomatoes at the screen. – Janet Maslin, New York Times, Jul 27, 2011

Rotten: The Power of One spends so much screen time reveling in the eloquence and bravery of its hero and depicting South Africa's blacks as an anonymous horde of victims that the film, in effect, becomes their victimizer. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, Jul 27, 2011

Rotten: A violent cartoon that trivializes apartheid. If there's any justice, the birds of loneliness will be circling the box office. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, Jul 27, 2011

Fresh: Beautifully produced and gorgeously shot on location in Zimbabwe by lenser Dean Semler, picture has depth, dimension and first-rate casting. – Variety Staff, Variety, Jul 27, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

why isn't the soundtrack sold!

this is a very sad, but beautiful movie..the music and african setting are stunning! i'm suprised itunes has this movie and not the soundtrack!

A movie not to be missed...

This is one of those few surprises that you'll be glad you watched and amazed no one told you about. It is largely based on one of my favorite books of the same title by Bryce Courtenay. It is tremendously moving, heart wrenching, and motivating story with beautiful African music. It will have you from the first few minutes of the movie. It is also one of Morgan Freeman's best performances (and he's had a lot of them). I still can't believe I'm the only one to review it. See it now...

moving history piece

As is usually the case, the book is better than the movie, but with such an amazing starting place the movie is still more than decent. I've seen it more than a few times and it can still pull tears from my eyes.

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The Power of One
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1992

Customer Ratings