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Tsotsi (2005)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 22,875 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 169 user | 148 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader.

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Title: Tsotsi (2005)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Presley Chweneyagae ...
Tsotsi
Terry Pheto ...
Miriam
Kenneth Nkosi ...
Aap
Mothusi Magano ...
Boston
Zenzo Ngqobe ...
Butcher
Zola ...
Fela
Rapulana Seiphemo ...
John Dube
Nambitha Mpumlwana ...
Pumla Dube
Nonthuthu Sibisi ...
The Baby
Ntuthuko Sibisi ...
The Baby
Jerry Mofokeng ...
Ian Roberts ...
Captain Smit
Percy Matsemela ...
Sergeant Zuma
Thembi Nyandeni ...
Soekie
Owen Sejake ...
Gumboot Dlamini
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Storyline

In Johannesburg, a small time criminal, Tsotsi, is a teenager without feelings, hardened by his tough life. After a series of violent gang hits, Tsotsi hijacks a car. However, whilst driving, Tsotsi finds that there is a baby on the back seat. He brings the baby to his house in the slum. The next six days bring about a change in him that couldn't be foreseen. Written by based on the review by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hope Set Him Free See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some strong violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

23 December 2005 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

Infância Roubada  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$47,179 (New Zealand) (2 June 2006)

Gross:

$2,912,363 (USA) (7 July 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In urban slang of Johannesburg "tsotsi" loosely translated means "thug". See more »

Goofs

When Tsotsi enters the room of the kidnapped child, you can see (on the right hand side) that the wall paper is false. See more »

Quotes

Morris: Now look what you've done... you've made an old man piss his pants
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kingdom of the Vampire (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Benoni Blues
Performed by paw'lee'n'sparx
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Truly Moving Picture
26 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this film on January 19th, 2006 in Indianapolis. I am one of the judges for the Heartland Film Festival that screens films for their Truly Moving Picture Award. A Truly Moving Picture "…explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Heartland gave that award to this film.

Tsotsi is a leader of an informal black criminal gang in South Africa. They are simply awful and inhuman and cruel and uncaring. We may understand why they act this way as we see the segregated black slums they live in, and, through flashbacks, their orphan-like upbringing, but you can't bring yourself to forgive them for what they have become. They are some of the worst thugs of the earth.

And then, a tipping point moment comes to the leader Tsotsi. As he commits a car theft from a wealthy neighborhood, he unknowingly kidnaps a baby. He can't bring himself to let the baby die.

Tsotsi clumsily attends to the baby in his small, tin can slum house. He becomes a hybrid human; that is, half good and half evil.

The drama of the film is the tension of not knowing how he will turn out. And he surely can go either way. His gang of friends are a noticeable contrast to where Tsotsi's head and morality is. They are pure evil.

The movie is sub-titled but there is not much dialog among these uneducated almost simpleminded underclass of young men. The powerful impact on the screen is created by the sordid environment and the realism in the facial expressions of the gang. The film is also driven cleverly by the African hip-hop like music.

The film looks at the question whether the worst of our humans on earth can change and tip back into being civilized.

FYI – There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.


58 of 102 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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