At the Lincoln Center, the South African cast members of the anti-Apartheid Broadway hit musical Sarafina perform and later give interviews about their politically and socially troubled country in this documentary. Writer-director Mbongeni Ngema cautions his cast that their opinions could bring trouble from the government once they return to South Africa. The cast later meets exiled singer Mariam Makeba, who in a moving, sentimental gesture expresses her gratitude for the company bringing the story to the rest of the world. The performance combines singing and dancing, combining ancient folk songs with modern music from Hugh Masakela and others from South Africa.
Jesus (Willem Dafoe), a humble Judean carpenter beginning to see that he is the son of God, is drawn into revolutionary action against the Roman occupiers by Judas (Harvey Keitel) -- despite his protestations that love, not violence, is the path to salvation.