After a prison riot, former-Captain Nascimento, now a high ranking security officer in Rio de Janeiro, is swept into a bloody political dispute that involves government officials and paramilitary groups.
Best buddies Acerola and Laranjinha, about to turn 18, discover things about their missing fathers' pasts which will shatter their solid friendship, in the middle of a war between rival drug gangs from Rio's favelas.
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
Writer-director Ralph Ziman learned how a gang had stolen a whole building in Hillbrow in Johannesburg through coercion. He began researching the phenomenon by interviewing reporters, police officers, social workers and lawyers, only to discover that the practice is highly commonplace in South Africa. See more »
When Lucky and his gang storm into the club for the climactic shoot-out, it is still dark outside. However, a few minutes later he chases his nemesis onto the roof of the building where it is clearly broad daylight. See more »
JERUSALEMA investigates the spirit of the individual to assert himself against both the system ad poverty. This film explores concepts of law enforcement in a country whose people have suffered oppression at the hands of police. The film tells the story of a self made entrepreneur from the slums of Soweto, his motto, crime really pays in the new South Africa. Freedom is slavery now, revolutions bring new order and they also bring opportunity. Might is right and possession is none tenths of the law. Welcome to the promised land, a new Jerusalem! The film by Ralph Ziman is based on real events and goes against what has become predictable. Ziman offers us an unusual insight into what has often been called the crime capital of the world. Hillbrow, inner city Johannesburg, demonstrates the beauty and barbarity of a new paradise. The director gives an unbiased view of the contemporary landscape, which most South Africans are aware of, but turn a blind eye. The director remains neutral, impartial, without resorting to stereotypes or over simplifications. He describes a city as it is, without no attempt to gloss over the grit. This is a complex, multi layered view of South Africa post apartheid. It casts a fresh eye on the recent manifestations of xenophobia. Beautiful photography, haunting music and excellent acting by a cast of unknowns. Recommend.
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