In the early 1980's, a white police officer (Andres Stander, played by Thomas Jane) in Johannesburg suffers a crisis of conscience due to his involvement in apartheid and becomes a notorious bank robber on the run. Then from 1983 to 1984, the "Stander gang" (Stander, Alan Heyl & Patrick McCall) rob as many as four banks a day.Written by
The riot scenes were shot in Tembisa, where the real Andre Stander had been stationed on riot duty. The crew left most of the buildings as they were since they were old enough not to bear too many anachronisms. See more »
On the DVD commentary, director Bronwen Hughes points out that although the Toyi-Toyi's presented in the film are authentic, the AK47 Toyi-Toyi is a later incarnation of the chant, much more aggressive than the one that would have been used in the mid-1970's when the riot scenes take place. See more »
Exciting, funny and sad, an outstanding true-life tale
A thoughtful action film, well written, directed and acted. A potent blend of character study and social history, with a dynamic performance by Thomas Jane in the title role. What at first seems to be a kind of Robin Hood tale turns out to be much more complex and unsettling.
Director/co-writer Bronwen Hughes (can this really be the same person who directed "Harriet the Spy"?) finds just the right tone and pace. The Soweto riot scene is a knockout and sets the stage for Andre Stander's disillusionment. The overall film is reminiscent (in the best sense) of some of the classic Hollywood films of the late 60s, early 70s such as "Butch Cassidy" and "Dog Day Afternoon."
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