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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

loved: a tinge of surrealism.

Author: enraptinreverie
18 October 2005

This was a nice film. It had a interesting storyline, that was executed pretty well in the later part of the film. The storyline kinda reminded me of The City of God. But this one is done in a more nicer way in comparison. It had what i really loved:a tinge of surrealism. Some pretty interesting cinematography (thru the wooden camera) I'm not sure if it was culturally correct, but it definitely widens you're view of south Africa. The actors were good (for 1st timers, most of them anyway), i especially liked Estelle character, which made this movie pretty enjoyable. What is interesting though, was that it makes you ask about your own life. Are you really doing what you really love? Or do you consent to the norm, the conventionalism around you. Definitely worth a watch.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A charming film

Author: Paul from France
17 July 2005

Yes, maybe there are parts of this film which require suspending belief a little but that doesn't take anything away from the film's charm and wonder. It was shown as part of our town's youth film festival and was the organising committee's favourite. Which is not surprising. The subject matter - coming together in a race-torn, though post-apartheid South Africa is highly topical and the treatment of the theme is inspirational. Of course, as the previous comment mentions the film does have its shortcomings, but the realism of the setting and the way the director treats his subject matter belies these shortcomings. I saw this with my wife and we returned the same evening with the children. A film to watch, meditate, discuss and act upon.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

a film with purpose.

Author: angellebon from United States
17 June 2005

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.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Wooden Camera similar to the city of God

Author: magodobosque from Portugal
12 June 2005

I enjoyed very much the movie wooden camera. I think it's a little bit influenced by the Brazilian movie "City of God", but maybe this parallelism between the two tracks possible to follow (crime and art) in social neighborhood are a reality.

I think the films made by Madiba are really beautiful. I don't think it's unreal that he shoot such good films, because there's a lot of artists that don't have any type of education and can be really genius.

I enjoyed very much the soundtrack. It's adjusted to the pictures.

See the's good to show how can be a life in a social neighborhood.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Film

Author: jpoma5 from United States
26 June 2005

This film is amazing, while not perfect by Hollywood standards it encompasses a gentle look at the wide divide between rich and poor, black and white that is true in many parts of the world. It handles the audience with kid gloves while delivering a truthful look at societal problems. The children are beautiful, take special note of the young man who plays Sipho. The friendships that develop are universally true, anyone can relate to the choices these young people have to make. The influence of adults is interesting - it appears to be taken from real life experiences as there are snip-its of conversations and interactions-much like a child would remember experiencing. I would highly recommend this film.

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True to Life and not exaggerated

Author: fivefoxesranfast from United States
16 November 2013

First of all I am white. I lived in Observatory and I swear that the music teacher's house is right next my old house on Perth Rd. I worked in Khayelitsha in 1992 and for the skeptics out there, the film was very true to life. I never saw the "beach" where Sipho lived, but the shacks, Shabines, and drunken life was a reality. Many sweet kids like Madiba lived in Khayelitcha when I was there in 1992. The limits of their social mobility as portrayed were very real. I think Ntshavhen must have simply taken a camera (hidden) into the township and filmed. It was that realistic. Believe me, I have been there, spent five days a week 7 hours a day there. Very Real and Madiba is small because many black children are small in ZA.

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A Simple Man's movie that somehow manages to keep it real

Author: Michael Lopez from United States
23 July 2010

Okay, I'm not too good reviewing movies but I think there should be more movies like this one. It's gonna be a blockbuster or rated too high on or become a cult but it's a simple man's movie. Cause it won't make you thrilled or keep you thinking but there is a sense of innocence and the characters are natural. The actors have done a great job especially the actors in the role of Sipho and Estelle.

The ending of the films is really good. I always thought if there can be such care-free move in the movie and they did it. Maybe, it's possible.

I don't get to see such kinda movies a lot. The only one I remember is 'Bluebird' that I recommend to all who liked this movie.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Similar to City of God?

Author: Alexander-T from Bangkok, Thailand
16 August 2007

This movie is not at all like City of God, you might get the same feeling but it isn't, there's no intense shooting nor intense drug scenes, you get the idea. If you ask me I think this film was a waste of time, there are a lot of other films which gives 100 times better meaning and teaching than "Wooden Camera". Yes I might be the only one to give a negative comment for this film but it's only in my opinion. It's one of those films where I can get the feeling that I'll be blown away but when the credits start to role my friends and I all gave mutual looks, and we all laughed at how ridiculous this movie was. So to conclude this matter, I advise not to watch it.

Personal note - Making Africans talk English was a big mistake. In City of God they used their native language which gave the film much more power and reality.

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8 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Good Camera Work

Author: okurs from Istanbul
1 April 2004

One should not be too critical about the director's second feature.

I really like the camera work of Madiba. As Mr. Shawn pointed out, he had a unique way of looking at things.

However, howcome a 14 year old boy shoot such beautiful images? Remember he has not got any education of any sort. I don't think english is the common tongue in Cape Town ghettos. Worse still, Madiba looks even smaller than his supposed age of 14.

Any way, if you overcome above-mentioned peculiarities, you can watch the film and still enjoy it because of nice camera work.

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