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Tsotsi (2005)

Tsotsi (2005)

Presley ChweneyagaeMothusi MaganoIsrael Matseke-ZuluTerry Pheto
Gavin Hood


Tsotsi (2005) is a Zulu,Xhosa,Afrikaans,English movie. Gavin Hood has directed this movie. Presley Chweneyagae,Mothusi Magano,Israel Matseke-Zulu,Terry Pheto are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2005. Tsotsi (2005) is considered one of the best Crime,Drama movie in India and around the world.

In Johannesburg, a small time criminal, Tsotsi, is a teenager without feelings, hardened by his tough life. After a series of violent gang hits, Tsotsi hijacks a car. However, whilst driving, Tsotsi finds that there is a baby on the back seat. He brings the baby to his house in the slum. The next six days bring about a change in him that couldn't be foreseen.


Tsotsi (2005) Reviews

  • Powerful Cinema


    There is a tendency for South African cinema (such as it is) to want to see itself through the eyes of the world. Hence the many comments such as "this film could be set in LA" (ie: it's almost as good as an American movie) As a result, most cinema from South Africa is often very limited in its artistic ambitions and storytelling usually takes second place to making sure South Africa "looks good" on the screen so that "people overseas" will see "our beautiful country" The Australians used to call this the cultural cringe and it also took them some time to find their voice. Tstosti is a wonderfully told piece of cinema set in the distinctive word of black Johannesburg criminals (I say black, because there is a very different world for white criminals)It works because underneath all the bells and whistles of great camera angles, phenomenal acting and- yes- its unique setting lies something much, much more important: A strong, strong story. A story about things that every human on earth can identify with (love and death). This is not a film for "people overseas"- it's a film in which South Africans to see and hear themselves as real people and not as feeble caricatures gleaned from countless Hollywood movies. It might well be the start of a something great.

  • A Must See movie


    For South Africans, both resident and in exile, this film is likely to be a harrowing experience. It shows us some of the consequences of what we allowed to be done in our name. Cinematically, the film is superb, partly because it is so understated. It is probably an insight into a way of life all to common in African metropolises. Whilst it shows the way of life in shanty towns and was, I know, filmed in authentic locations, I found myself wondering whether the coloring was just a bit rosy, but that is a very minor criticism. The director has coaxed a performance from his lead actor which is, I think, a landmark. So much of the performance is visual - he says very little. He is supported by a bevy of other characters which those familiar with South Africa will recognize all to easily. If you do not have a South African connection, see the movie as an insight into our way of life. See it because it is a story worth telling and therefore worth seeing.

  • A Moving Experience of South African Sight, Sound and Performance of Universal Humanity


    "Tsotsi" should be seen on a big screen in order to fully appreciate its varied and intense look, performances and sound. First the look. Even as writer/director Gavin Hood has updated Athol Fugard's novel to the new South Africa of an integrated police force, upscale blacks who can demand their attention vs. abandoned AIDS orphans, the settings in Johannesburg vs. Soweto with their sharp and horrific contrasts are not something American audiences have seen and almost seem as if they are from a futuristic post-apocalyptic vision. Each character is dramatically and very emotionally defined by the surroundings we see, where they once or currently live. Not only is Lance Gewer's cinematography from day to night, from barren openness of no man's land to the closed-in dense township simply gorgeous, he is particularly good at capturing the luster of dark skin tones swathed in colorful clothes. Many scenes, particularly the excruciatingly violent ones, are heightened with dramatic lighting. The actors grab the screen even amidst this extreme mise en scene. Presley Chweneyagae as the titularly nicknamed thug is not just physically charismatic, but the changes in his voice are gripping in communicating the extreme range of feelings he experiences over the few days the film takes place. This is a road trip through his soul, from flash backs to existential acts from his depths to finding his humanity (and his real name). His relationship with a cruelly accidental foundling infant has no comparison to the dozens of films, usually comedies, made around the world about an irresponsible guy stuck with a kid and how a child can be father to man. While his picaresque physical and psychic journey is almost as theatrical in its coincidences as "Crash", the tension is built up as it is unpredictable in each confrontation whether he will react violently or redemptively. Just when I thought his side kicks were undifferentable, even they turned out to have complicated stories that were well portrayed, particularly Mothusi Magano as "Boston". Terry Pheto as "Miriam" is the very essence of woman as bringer forth of life, from her artistic talents to her nourishing milk. She is beautiful and strong. It is rare to see maternal love so powerfully portrayed on film as by the women here. The soundtrack of local South African music is wonderfully atmospheric, and I'm dancing in front of the computer while listening to the CD now. Particularly outstanding are the tracks by local kwaito artist Zola which uniquely combine local and international hip hop into a new sound, as well as tracks with the inspiring voice of Vasi Mahlasela over choirs, which recalls Ladysmith Black Mambazo. With an attention to detail in the music, the middle class family listens to soft R & B on their car radio, in comparison to the township sound that surrounds the Soweto residents. Bravo for the very legible subtitles throughout and translated musical lyrics, even as we can occasionally pick out some pidgin English amidst the township jive. Nice to see that an art house in Manhattan could attract a significant African-American audience for this film even before it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

  • Thug


    The ugliness and squalor of Soweto stands in sharp contrast against the glass and concrete modern buildings of downtown Johannesburg. The disparity is captured by Gavin Hood and his cinematographer Lance Gewer in "Tsotsi". The film is based on an Athol Fugard novel we haven't read, but having seen most of his important plays, it follows this writer's vision about his homeland. Tsotsi is a product of the slums. His father is a cruel man who doesn't even allow the young boy to be near his dying mother. She appears to be an AIDS victim, and, in her husband's ignorance he believes it's contagious. Tsotsi grows up fending for himself and the result is a predator who will do anything in order to survive. This young man enters a life of crime, as witnessed in the opening scenes on the packed train where Tsotsi and his gang surrounds a victim that happens to have displayed his money in public. For the next victim, Tsotsi chooses a woman who is returning home. After shooting her, he takes her car, only to discover later on a young infant has been riding in the back seat. That boy will be the only way this petty criminal's soul would soften as he begins a bonding with the baby. As he gets frustrated with the care of the infant, he decides to follow a young woman, the mother of a toddler; Tsotsi knows she has the milk the baby needs for nourishment. Miriam, who realizes Tsotsi is the man being hunted by the authorities asks him to let her keep and take care of the baby, but even this hard thug can't part with the baby, who has awakened in him a tender side of his character. The film shows a good director, Gavin Hood, under control. Mr. Hood got excellent performances all around. Presley Chweneyagae makes an impression as the title character in the movie. Mathusi Magano, is Boston, the man Tsotsi beats savagely, after he crosses him. Terry Pheto is also memorable as the young Miriam, a woman who has lost her own husband to thugs roaming the slums where they live. Another great asset is the background music heard in the film. It enhances the movie as interpreted by Zola, who also plays Fela, the rival boss of another gang. At times, "Tsotsi" is hard to sit through because of the violence one sees. For a film from South Africa, this film comes as a surprise because it feels true from beginning to end, thanks to the excellent work of Gavin Hood.

  • Wonderful film!


    Unforgettable Tsotsi is gorgeous, riveting, poignant, and thrilling. Not only is it a first-rate piece of storytelling, but it also takes the viewer into a world of South African poverty and crime that he has never seen before. Director/writer Gavin Hood offers us a tale of tragic redemption and uncommon poetry in a subculture of the most abject immorality. Truly unforgettable. The only work in recent times to which this movie can be compared is City of God. There, too, the viewer is brought into a world of poverty and crime he probably never knew existed. It is a world so bleak that it forces the viewer to examine his own morality and wonder how much of the civility he takes for granted in his life is merely the luxury of the well fed and comfortable. These characters live on the edge and their primary passion is survival. What makes Tsotsi, in the end, a finer film than City of God is that it offers a more complex sense of hope; it reminds us in an honest and unsentimental way that inside even the hardest cases there is a soul, which is never beyond redemption


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