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Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema (2008)

Jerusalema (original title)
Trailer
1:21 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Ralph Ziman

Writer:

Ralph Ziman
6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rapulana Seiphemo Rapulana Seiphemo ... Lucky Kunene
Jeffrey Zekele Jeffrey Zekele ... Nazareth
Ronnie Nyakale Ronnie Nyakale ... Zakes Mbolelo
Shelley Meskin Shelley Meskin ... Leah Friedlander (as Shelly Meskin)
Malusi Skenjana Malusi Skenjana ... Tony Ngu
Robert Hobbs ... Inspector Blakkie Swart
Jafta Mamabolo Jafta Mamabolo ... Young Kunene
Motlatsi Mahloko Motlatsi Mahloko ... Young Zakes
Kenneth Nkosi Kenneth Nkosi ... Lucas Sithole
Sally Burdett Sally Burdett ... News reader
Lerato Moloi Lerato Moloi ... Loretta Dlamini
Thandy Matlaila Thandy Matlaila ... Young Nomsa
Mzwandile Ngubeni Mzwandile Ngubeni ... Young Bull
Gladys Mahlangu Gladys Mahlangu ... Mama Kunene
Patrick Bakoba 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:

Take your dreams by force 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The budget for the film was considerably less than many of the music videos that Ralph Ziman had directed. 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 »

User Reviews

 
Great South African film
2 September 2008 | by andreas_soerensenSee all my reviews

The big problem with the local film industry is that for too long it has relied on easy-sell toilet humour or depressing AIDS and poverty epics.

It's refreshing to finally see a competently made local flick that aims to entertain the locals rather than scoop awards at foreign film festivals with deeply serious afro-pessimistic themes (such as Yesterday and Tsotsi.

Basically the story follows 2 male characters from their high school days into their adulthood. They get involved in lives of crime and must choose their own destinies.

This is a generally good and entertaining film. Ordinarily I would point out the negatives, such as the pacing, which drags a bit, especially towards the second half, some uninspired cinematography, some poor acting (especially from the female love interest). BUT, the problem with the SA movie going public is that we compare everything local to Hollywood. I assume this was made on a very limited budget and with pretty inexperienced people so it cannot possibly come close to matching those films for production values.

This film should be judged on its accomplishments taking into account the restrictions, and it does very well.

Jerusalema is, taken in context, an excellent film with plenty of local content and in-jokes. I believe it is important for all South Africans (able to) to support the local film industry to allow more true SA films to be made.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

South Africa

Language:

English | Afrikaans

Release Date:

29 August 2008 (South Africa) See more »

Also Known As:

Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,958, 13 June 2010

Gross USA:

$7,294

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$421,593
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Muti Films See more »
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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