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Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema (2008) Poster

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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.
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The budget was so low on the film that old cameras were used as were skateboards in place of dollies.
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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.
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The budget for the film was considerably less than many of the music videos that Ralph Ziman had directed.
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South Africa's 2009 Academy Awards official submission to Foreign-Language Film category.
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The title comes from the idea that when you look at the district of Hillbrow from a distance, it stands proudly on a hill, like a New Jerusalem.
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Ralph Ziman wanted to make a "harsh and realistic" crime movie about his home town, one that reflected "the hopes and aspirations of its citizens".
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