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Tsotsi
Tsotsi
Actors: Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano, Israel Makoe, Terry Pheto, Kenneth Nkosi
Director: Gavin Hood
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
R     2006     1hr 34min

Captivating audiences worldwide, this compelling story of crime and redemption has earned countless awards around the globe. On the edges of Johannesburg, Tsotsi's life has no meaning beyond survival. One night, in despera...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano, Israel Makoe, Terry Pheto, Kenneth Nkosi
Director: Gavin Hood
Creators: Gavin Hood, Alan Howden, Basil Ford, Doug Mankoff, Gavin Joubert, Henrietta Fudakowski, Athol Fugard
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Miramax
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/18/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Marianna S. (Angeloudi) from HOLIDAY, FL
Reviewed on 10/14/2008...
Tsotsi has a completely amoral main character who robs and kills people wantonly for money. After hijacking a car from a woman at her home (and shooting her and leaving her for dead), he discovers the woman's infant son in the back seat. Tsotsi brings the child home in a paper bag and tries to feed it and care for it. The baby awakens some sense of humanity in Tsotsi. The movie is not in English, but rather in Afrikaans, the Dutch-African mixture spoken in S. Africa. A very violent movie with some elements of humanity.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Linda L. (angelstar) from TAOS, NM
Reviewed on 12/15/2007...
I liked this movie a lot but I doubt I will watch it again. It is very thought provoking and might be disturbing for some. I'm happy they gave it a R rating. It gave me the feeling that "good" can be found in "bad" people. In a way I wish to know what happens to him after the end of the movie; in another way perhaps I don't want to know. I give it 5 stars.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

The Hope Of Redemption, But What About The Victims?
T. Agoston | Connecticut, USA | 08/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Yes, this is a striking, well-made and thought-provoking film, but suffers from the same flaws affecting the debates around crime and criminals in the West: what about Tsotsi's victims? How about the woman who is paralyzed from Tsotsi's gunfire? or the honest, dignified businessman who is horrifically knifed for the little money in his wallet? and the aspiring teacher who is brutally beaten and disfigured by Tsotsi? The film does not dwell on their fates -- just Tsotsi's.
While viewers can be struck by the hopeful note of the possibility of this brutal criminal discovering his own humanity, redemption isn't that simple. The underlying themes are troubling: it isn't his fault -- his childhood, abusive father, victimized mother, lack of education, etc. may have helped create this monster -- but he IS a monster. One can be seduced into a feel-good experience by focusing on his emerging empathy and personal growth, but only because the film ignores his victims and the ongoing impact of Tsotsi's actions.
If you want a feel-good, hopeful movie -- it's very good. But be prepared to be unsettled if you aren't comfortable with shades of gray, and a limited examination of the issues of urban violence."
Authentic from start to finish
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 09/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's so great to finally see a major feature film that shows Africa from an African perspective, as opposed to through the prism of Western eyes. Another recent well-deserved Oscar winner (Best foreign language film) I just had to have in my collection; this is a violent and uncompromising look at life in a Soweto township.

Presley Cheweneyagae plays the lead, a Johannesburg small-time gangster whose nickname Tsotsi means "thug". I read somewhere that Presley was discovered playing Hamlet in a Soweto theatre group. He's a find in a million, as his performance is mesmerising.

Tsotsi finds a baby in the back of a car he's just jacked off a suburban black woman as the woman waited for the security gates outside her home to open. He doesn't do the expected and simply dump the baby at the side of the road - surprisingly, he decides to take it home and care for it. He hasn't a clue how to care for a child of course and he turns to a local woman who makes decorative mobiles from glass. She's a nursing mother herself, and - under the threat of death, mind you - Tsotsi gets her to look after the child while he goes back out there to do his thing.

It's an interesting study of how complex life is for people who don't have much and while the movie doesn't make excuses or descend into sentimentality at any point, it's engaging to gradually see the heart of the man called Tsotsi - a man who at first glance seemed utterly heartless - emerge for all to see. It's a great story, based on the novel by South African playwright Athol Fugard, and the final scenes had me (literally) on the edge of my seat the first time I watched it. Gavin Hood makes good use of Johannesburg's urban setting and the natural beauty of South Africa. I strongly recommend this movie. For anyone who might not know and who may have an interest, this is an authentic slice of African life.
"
Wounded
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 04/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Though "Tsotsi" is set in South Africa and the milieu, to the American eye, is as exotic as a film set on the Moon, the concerns are Universal: the loss or disconnect of ones parents, the longing for a parent's love and caring, a governments lack of concern for a citizens civil rights.
Tsotsi (Presley Chweneygae) is a hood, a young man who kills and steals without any apparent concern for what he is doing and why he is doing it. His face and eyes radiate mostly hate and disdain. He is psychically and emotionally detached and removed. Then, one day he steals a luxury car, shoots the woman to whom it belongs and realizes, once he drives the car away, that there is an infant in the back seat.
This beautiful, innocent child forces Tsotsi ( really named David) to face the loss of his Mother, the uncaring, drunken non-concern of his father and the deep seated, mostly ignored or glossed , psychically ignored feelings with which he hasn't been able to deal.
Director and screenwriter Gavin Hood (adapted from a novel by Athol Fugard) has fashioned a traditionally structured film and peopled it with non-traditional characters and it works because we can all relate to Tsotsi's dilemma. And it doesn't hurt to have Presley Chweneygae as your lead character. The first time we see Tsotsi on screen he looks at the camera with his huge black eyes: eyes that are filled with superiority, despair, disgust and hurt. When he first sees the infant his eyes and face fill with wonder and awe at the utter helplessness and innocence. It is this disparity and friction that makes the film crackle with fire and well observed life.
"Tsotsi" is not a revolutionary film like say the similarly themed "Children of God" but it is a very emotionally effective and socially aware one and Presley Chweneyagae's performance is so natural and truthful that it makes you wince with recognition and empathy.
"