Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tsotsi: Wow, wow, wow. Wow.

I finally got to the World Cinema Showcase to see Tsotsi. It's one of those films that make you go "I wish I'd made that!"

It was such an emotional experience, I had to write the review in my little notebook while waiting for a smoothie on Queen Street afterwards. Here, based on my transcription of my scribbling, is the said review:

Tsotsi. Wow, wow, wow, wow. I sat alone in the dark with a considerable number of complete strangers to go on a journey to deepest, darkest Africa. Not jungles of colonialist folklore, but the corrugated iron shanties and gated communities of the modern South Africa.

And what a journey it was.

Presley Chweneyagae gives an outstanding performance, bringing pathos and roots to a role that's hardly sympathetic when you hear it described - a thug, a thief and occasionally a murderer.

Tsotsi doesn't try to explain or excuse its main character's life of crime, it just presents it. Terry Pheto as Miriam is amazing too.

As I said, Tsotsi is a journey we take with the main character to face the demons of his past. It sounds like a cliche when described that way, but Tsotsi carries it off convincingly.


As with many great stories, Tsotsi is a story of redemption. There's a moment where he's told to put his hands in the air in surrender. On the one hand, it's bad news, but when you see him slowly raise his hands, it is a genuine Hallelujah praise the Lord moment.

There were more than a few sniffles in the theatre, which either means winter cold season has come early, or it was having the same profound effect on others as on me.


News of note:

Box Office


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