7.3/10
26,630
181 user 153 critic

Tsotsi (2005)

R | | Crime, Drama | 31 March 2006 (USA)
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1:58 | Trailer

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Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader.

Director:

Gavin Hood

Writers:

Gavin Hood, Athol Fugard (novel)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Presley Chweneyagae ... Tsotsi
Terry Pheto ... Miriam
Kenneth Nkosi Kenneth Nkosi ... Aap
Mothusi Magano Mothusi Magano ... Boston
Zenzo Ngqobe Zenzo Ngqobe ... Butcher
Zola Zola ... Fela
Rapulana Seiphemo Rapulana Seiphemo ... John Dube
Nambitha Mpumlwana Nambitha Mpumlwana ... Pumla Dube
Nonthuthu Sibisi Nonthuthu Sibisi ... The Baby
Ntuthuko Sibisi Ntuthuko Sibisi ... The Baby
Jerry Mofokeng Jerry Mofokeng ... Morris
Ian Roberts Ian Roberts ... Captain Smit
Percy Matsemela Percy Matsemela ... Sergeant Zuma
Thembi Nyandeni Thembi Nyandeni ... Soekie
Owen Sejake Owen Sejake ... Gumboot Dlamini
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Storyline

In Johannesburg, a small time criminal, Tsotsi, is a teenager without feelings, hardened by his tough life. After a series of violent gang hits, Tsotsi hijacks a car. However, whilst driving, Tsotsi finds that there is a baby on the back seat. He brings the baby to his house in the slum. The next six days bring about a change in him that couldn't be foreseen. Written by based on the review by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In this world... redemption just comes once. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some strong violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | South Africa

Language:

Zulu | Xhosa | Afrikaans | English

Release Date:

31 March 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Infância Roubada See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$140,510 (South Africa), 3 February 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$76,324, 26 February 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,912,363, 9 July 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In urban slang of Johannesburg "tsotsi" loosely translated means "thug". See more »

Goofs

When Tsotsi enters the room of the kidnapped child, you can see (on the right hand side) that the wall paper is false. See more »

Quotes

Morris: Now look what you've done... you've made an old man piss his pants
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Connections

Referenced in Kingdom of the Vampire (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Benoni Blues
Performed by paw'lee'n'sparx
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User Reviews

 
Well worth watching, if you can find it
2 April 2006 | by D_laSee all my reviews

This traces a few days in the life of the teenage gang leader Tsotsi. When we first meet him, he and his friends are playing dice, deciding what to do that evening. And what they do is murder a man, stealing his wallet and leaving him behind on the train. One of the gang, Boston, isn't too happy with this. He begins to drink and to talk about how they lack decency. He tries to provoke Tsotsi into revealing some sort of feeling, asking him about his real name. Tsotsi means thug, it isn't the name his mother gave him. That doesn't work, so Boston asks has any woman hurt him. Still no reaction. Not even a dog, he pleads in exasperation, and his provocation bears fruit, as Tsotsi punches and kicks Boston in a brutal attack before running off into the night.

As he runs we get a flashback of a young boy, a young Tsotsi fleeing through the night. And throughout the rest of the film Tsotsi's childhood memories are intercut with the current happenings and violence. To say anymore about the plot would be to spoil some moments of the film.

There is a wonderful mixture of stillness, silence, and energy to this film. At times the camera lingers on faces, watching for a flicker of emotion. Other scenes are full of action and movement.

This is a film that does say that poverty is a driving force behind crime, but that is never allowed to become an excuse. There are other characters who are just as poor but do not react in the same way. It also never glamourises the violence, and while redemption may be at the heart of the film it never goes over the top in offering a happy ending.

This is actually one of those films you hope may have a Hollywood ending, where they can all live happily ever after, even though you know that that would render the rest of the film almost pointless.


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