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Tsotsi back to product details

Tsotsi - a great movie
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written by wands August 27, 2006 - 4:28 PM PDT
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I recently came back from my first trip to South Africa. The background of Tsotsi is unfortunately consistent with the fears expressed by middle-class South Africans - and those fears are real. But that's a tiny part of the movie. When you watch it, be sure to watch the "Making of" short, which gives lots of background.

Tsotsi and His Tot
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written by talltale July 22, 2006 - 4:02 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
TSOTSI's biggest problem--the movie's and the title character's--is a baby. This tiny (from the looks of him) month-or-two-old infant must serve as the film's raison d'etre, its heavy-duty symbol, the cause of our hero's redemption and a whole bunch more. This is quite a load for any month-old to undertake, particularly when it appears that no one connected with the writing or direction of last year's Best Foreign Film winner has a nodding acquaintance with what nearly-newborns might be like. They need constant attention and cry a lot. This one cries a little, and that's pretty much it--even after being left alone for hours, during which he is covered by some very large ants. Well, the filmmakers need this baby to make their point, damn it all, so that's how it's going to be. Do you feel manipulated yet?

If you steel yourself and take the ride, you will encounter some fine performances, especially from the lead actor, Presley Chweneyagae. I must admit to being very moved by his ultimate action. For the first time in this unfortunately just-not-good-enough film, (spoiler ahead) the character gives up and gives in, and the "release" we feel is extraordinary. If only more rigor and less sentiment had preceded this fine, final moment. The movie was adapted from a novel by famed South African playwright and author Athol Fugard. Dare we imagine that the book was better? I do wonder what happens to this young man. Does he negotiate prison intact? Will the young mother with whom he earlier placed the baby come visit him in jail? What? Am I asking for a "Tsotsi Two"? Maybe. And it just might make a better film.

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(Average 7.20)
61 Votes
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