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Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema (2008)

Jerusalema (original title)
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.

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6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rapulana Seiphemo ...
Lucky Kunene
Jeffrey Zekele ...
Nazareth
Ronnie Nyakale ...
Zakes Mbolelo
Shelley Meskin ...
Leah Friedlander (as Shelly Meskin)
Malusi Skenjana ...
Tony Ngu
...
Inspector Blakkie Swart
Jafta Mamabolo ...
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 ...
Caiphas
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

"If you're going to steal...Steal big, and hope like hell you get away with it!" See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

29 August 2008 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$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
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A mixture of languages can be heard throughout the movie. Much of what the main characters speak to each other is township slang known as Tsotsitaal (literally 'gangster language') which is composed of vocabulary from Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans, English, other African languages and invented slang. It is generally associated with young township-dwelling men, though some terms have entered mainstream South African parlance. See more »

Goofs

The boys mention winning the Lotto when walking down the street in the scene set in the 1994. The South African Lotto (National Lottery) started in 2000. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jerusalema - Brilliant!
2 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

If Jerusalema, the latest film about life in South Africa's underbelly of Hillbrow, can make a film like the award winning Tsotsi look like child's play, you need to ask yourself the question: "Why haven't I seen it yet?" Even more disturbing is that Jerusalema premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year, and has already been raking in the awards.

Star of the film - Lucky Kunene's motto in life is taken from an Al Capone movie "If you're going to steal ... steal big, and hope like hell you get away with it!" Like a fly on the wall, we get to watch how an innocent youth from Soweto, a victim of circumstance, turns to crime and works his way up to become the hoodlum of Hillbrow.

The acting is superb and will have you engrossed in the film in no time. The script is watertight, and quite probably the most accurate account of South Africa's criminal underworld that you're ever going to see.

The scary part about all of this? It's based on true events! (But don't be put off SA, this is a small part of a big country)


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