180 user 152 critic

Tsotsi (2005)

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

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



, (novel)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


Hope Set Him Free See more »


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

Official site




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Release Date:

31 March 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Infância Roubada  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first Miramax release since founders Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein left the company. See more »


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 »


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


Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »


Lyrics Written by Zola (as Bonginkosi Dlamini)
Music Written by DJ Cleo (as Cleopas Monyepao) & Thabiso Tsotetsi
Performed by Zola
See more »

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User Reviews

2 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

I really enjoyed this movie. The setting is harsh, the opening is violent and the violence returns at times through the film. But the message is of the redemptive power of love for children and the way that reproduction, even by proxy, is a civilising force. What's really remarkable, though of a piece with Fugard's hard-nosed stage work, is that this is all done without sentimentality and without a conventional happy ending.

The acting is outstanding in particular from Presley Chweneyagae and Nambitha Mpumlwana. The music is a revelation -- I've just bought the soundtrack from iTunes and am listening to it as I write this.

The political message that I derived from the film (though it doesn't preach) concerns the extraordinary patience of the inhabitants of Soweto. It's 16 years or so since change started happening in South Africa, but so few problems seem to have been solved. One doesn't have to apportion blame for this to wonder how long it can go on without serious problems arising.

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