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The Wooden Camera (2003)

 |  Family  |  28 July 2004 (France)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 458 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 5 critic

A township near Cape Town. Two young teens, Madiba and Sipho, find a gun and a camera. Sipho takes the gun, and Madiba the camera, sealing their fate.

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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview:
Junior Singo ...
Dana de Agrella ...
Innocent Msimango ...
Lisa Petersen ...
Nicholas Jara ...
Lynita Crofford ...
TV Reporter
Nomhle Nkonyeni ...
Thembi Mtshali ...
Madiba's Mother
Mr. Shawn
Fats Bookholane ...
Madiba's Father
Bo Petersen ...
Estelle's Mother
Estelle's Father


Kayelitsha, South-Africa, today. 2003 A township, close to Cape-town, after the end of Apartheid. Two kids, 14, Madiba and Sipho play along the railway. A train passes by. A dead man rolls to their feet. On him, they find a gun and a video camera. Sipho takes the gun and Madiba the camera. Their destiny is sealed. Benny, their friend makes a wooden camera and Madiba hides the video inside, in order to avoid embarrassing questions, racketing etc. He starts filming the township and its inhabitants. He discovers the strange beauty of his life's setting. Sipho, the boss, brings his friends to Cape-town, the white city, so close, so far, so exotic to the eyes of the children. While Sipho forms a gang with the street children and makes all kinds of illicit trading, Madiba films the town, its huge buildings, its business life, and its luxury. In a bookstore, he films a young white girl, stealing a book. They look at each other. Going out of the store, she drops book on road, knowing he will ... Written by Olivier Delahaye

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Release Date:

28 July 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Träkameran  »

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User Reviews

a film with purpose.
17 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was a random rental at the video store. But I was impressed from the start. Wooden Camera is a gem of a 2nd feature by an engaging director. The film captures deeply insightful moments and several often times frustrating and complicated social interactions young interracial friends would experience in a modern post apartheid South Africa. The young actors are quite good and well directed in their approach to the core material and the dialogue is natural and interesting. The film is very rich in visuals providing a frame by frame study of deeper understanding and fulfillment without falling into iconic stereotypes and clichés. The musical score to the film adds body to the film without being obtrusive. After watching it the second time, I tracked down the DVD on amazon and have been happy ever since.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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