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Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema (2008)

Jerusalema (original title)
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A young hoodlum's rise from a small-time criminal to a powerful crime entrepreneur during the turbulent years before and after the fall of apartheid.



6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rapulana Seiphemo ...
Lucky Kunene
Jeffrey Zekele ...
Ronnie Nyakale ...
Zakes Mbolelo
Shelley Meskin ...
Leah Friedlander (as Shelly Meskin)
Malusi Skenjana ...
Tony Ngu
Inspector Blakkie Swart
Young Kunene
Motlatsi Mahloko ...
Young Zakes
Kenneth Nkosi ...
Lucas Sithole
Sally Burdett ...
News reader
Lerato Moloi ...
Loretta Dlamini
Thandy Matlaila ...
Young Nomsa
Mzwandile Ngubeni ...
Young Bull
Gladys Mahlangu ...
Mama Kunene
Patrick Bakoba ...


Starting off with simple smash and grabs, and petty crime, Lucky Kunene quickly graduates to more aggressive heists such as armed robbery and carjacking. Soon, Lucky realizes he needs a bigger score to fulfill his goals of making it big, and escaping from the slums, to a dream house by the sea. Kunene hatches an elaborate and violent plan to make his fortune - hijacking buildings from landlords of Johannesburg tenements by winning the favor of the tenants and then holding their rent hostage from the landowners. His high-profile real estate acquisitions attract the attention of the local police force who have no qualms about using unprovoked brutality to bring him down. His trouble with the law, coupled with an escalating war between a local drug lord, creates a tense standoff: both sides are closing in, and Kunene must stay one step ahead--or his empire, and his life, will come crashing down. Written by Official Site

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An unflinching look into the crime, corruption and the transgressions of those looking to survive in the most crime-infested district of Johannesburg. See more »


Action | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language, drug use and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

29 August 2008 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$48,243 (South Africa), 31 August 2008, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,958, 13 June 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,958, 13 June 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


South Africa's 2009 Academy Awards official submission to Foreign-Language Film category. See more »


Metrorail trains were not colored yellow in 1994, but red. See more »

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User Reviews

An Ace In The Hole For the Home Team
8 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

Tsotsi is nothing compared to Jerusalema. Finally a real South African movie that can hold its head up high. Totally authentic, all respect to those involved. A mirror on Jozi and what our lives are really like. I hope other film makers will take note and pull their sox up. It's time to stop being embarrassed about being South African and take pride in our local industry. I strongly recommend all South Africans and go and see it on the big screen as the producers intended. I'm gonna spread the word. And please, do not by pirated DVD's; help enable the local movie industry to grow... I loved this movie. I cannot say it enough times. I am speechless. KUDOS MZANSI.

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