Award-Winning South African Drama ‘Colors of Heaven’ Gets a USA Release, Premiering on Netflix Today

"Colors of Heaven"

“Colors of Heaven”

The South African dramatic film, previously titled “A Million Colors,” is being released in the USA, premiering on Netflix today under the title “Colors of Heaven.”

Directed by Peter Bishai and starring Wandile Molebatsi (“Machine Gun Preacher,” “Chappie”), Jason Hartman (“Idols”), Stelio Savante (“Eisenstein In Guanajuato,” “The Making Of The Mob: New York”), Masello Motana and Mpho Osei Tutu (“Catch a Fire”), the epic drama was warmly received at Montreal World film festival, Pan African film festival, Hollywood Black film festival, Atlantic film festival, and won several awards at World-fest Houston as well as two SAFTA awards (South African Oscars or equivalent of BAFTA awards).

In addition to Netflix USA, the film will also be available on Netflix in the UK, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.

Telling the story of the fall from grace and redemption of South Africa’s onetime most famous teen black movie star, Muntu Ndebele, “Colors of Heaven” is “a mixture of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’,” says Peter Bishai, who directed the film from a script co-written by Bishai and Andre Pieterse.

Muntu Ndebele (played by Molebatsi) rose the stardom in the early 1970’s with the blockbuster “e’Lollipop” (which was released in the U.S. as “Forever Young, Forever Free”). The film made him the country’s most beloved childhood star. Forced into hiding after participating in the June 16, 1976 student uprising in Soweto, he was separated from the love of his life, became a fugitive, and struggled to survive apartheid, as his life spiraled into crime and despair.

Premiering on Netflix USA (streaming) today, February 15, you can now check it out for yourselves.

The distribution deal with Netflix was brokered by Chris Bueno of Ocean Avenue Entertainment, in association with Marty Poole and Kirk Harris of Fairway Film Alliance, the worldwide sales agent for the film.

A brand new trailer for the Netflix release is embedded below:


  1. This looks good! I was unfamiliar with this film, so I appreciate this information. I will definitely check it out on Netflix. Netflix has allowed me to see many independent African-American films and African films that don’t get theatrical releases in my area and are frequently unavailable on DVD.

  2. This is an excellent film. I have watched a lot of foreign films and this is one of the best so . Thank you Netflix for a vast selection of good movies.

  3. This film was very moving and makes human suffering and the love that can change it seem vital and real. It also, demonstrates that we are one human family and cannot be divided by color, race or geography.

  4. this movie was amazing put together and being Christian was heart filling but yet heart breaking to see how vindictive evil people can be. I am happy I was not exposed to such. However, I am happy to say I raised my children to kind to all walks of color.

  5. This is one of the best movies We have ever seen. Worth watching, great acting, great cinematography and the story so touching. Shows we all have love in common and we all struggle.

  6. What a brilliant film. Told warts and all, the story of South Africa. Superbly acted, directed, and produced. Hugely inspirational. 10 out of 10 to all involved.

  7. Okay, enough already. I know a film’s appeal is very subjective (one man’s garbage is another’s treasure). However, this film is receiving an inordinate amount of praise for an obscure film of this nature, especially here at Shadow and Act.

    Consequently, I took the bait… I watched it.

    Now I feel very comfortable in saying “stop it already”. One of the best movies? Brilliant? If one enjoys Lifetime movies, they might come to that conclusion. I’ll give it a “3 1/2” out of 10.

  8. This film was “awful”.
    Not a believable moment involved.
    Acting, to be kind, was atrocious, and so over the top in every regard.

  9. It’s not the best movie ever and it’s definitely not the worst movie ever. I’m very picky but it was just enough to keep me watching.

  10. You hate this movie if you hate to see racial lines bridged. You wish Knox was a regular Boer knocking the hell out of Africans so you hate the movie for what it stands for…much the same way I hate horror no matter how well done cinematography, acting and all. You love this movie if you love it when human beings rise above racial and other prejudice and put forward the most beautiful human spirit. Knox didn’t have to suffer that much for Muntu but he did.
    It’s because of people like him that South Africa is free. Human beings can unite to eliminate the evils of this world or continue division to destroy the world for all. No matter how great a time you’re having the evil we perpetrate eventually pays us or our children homage.
    My observation is that movies of this kind get underrated to they don’t get watched by many and right there we lose another opportunity to savour something that would challenge us to embrace a better world for all our sakes.
    LOVED THE MOVIE. 10 out of 10

  11. This film was “awful”.
    Not a believable moment involved.
    Acting, to be kind, was atrocious, and so over the top in every regard ~ STEPHEN

    First, ELANA’s (above) mumble jumble-ish “can’t we all get along” mantra is merely a deflection from the real issue.

    That is, there is not a believable moment in this sappy movie. For instance, the lead is a movie star who has a new car which we see throughout the entire film. In the ghetto, at school, at the soldier’s training camp (2000 miles from his home) and on the battle field, this sports car somehow is there. That reminds me, the film’s star, after joining the “war”, is located hundreds of miles from his home. Then, after having second thoughts about the mission he decides to flee the battle. On foot, he travels through the jungles and wilderness of Africa, all while evading hordes of warriors. Guess what he finds upon his arrival back home? His car, that SAME car which was back on the battle field is now being used by local thugs! OMG! As Stephen said, this film is awful in so many ways.

  12. I remember the Lollipop film that this is ‘based on’ or a follow up to. So I was familiar with the characters. I liked the understated performances and am a little shocked that some of the comments found them to be over the top. Doesn’t sound like they watched the same film. It is easily one of the strongest films to come out of South Africa. The production value and direction was on a par with American films. We watched it as part of our film club screening series which is about 200 strong. It is one of the only occasions that I remember us all standing to applaud the film. We’ve probably screened several hundred films since our inception in 2012. I can understand why so many of the better festivals have recognized it and I will continue to recommend it

  13. I enjoyed this movie for what it was. It was a look at a time and place that was historically important. The car was symbolic. It was NOT the same car every time. The film isn’t perfect but it doesn’t have to be. Lesser films have gotten more fanfare. This film is a beautiful story of hope on many levels: race, democracy, love and friendship.

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