Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
United Kingdom/South Africa, 2005. The UK Film & TV Production Company PLC, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, The National Film and Video Foundation of SA, Moviworld, Tsotsi Films. Screenplay by Gavin Hood, based on the novel by Athol Fugard. Cinematography by Lance Gewer. Produced by Peter Fudakowski. Music by Paul Hepker, Mark Kilian. Production Design by Emilia Roux. Costume Design by Nadia Kruger, Pierre Vienings. Film Editing by Megan Gill. Academy Awards 2005. European Film Awards 2005. Golden Globe Awards 2005. Toronto International Film Festival 2005.
Well-acted and beautifully photographed drama from South Africa that announces City Of God as not only a cinematic innovation but its own genre. Tsotsi, a Johannesburg gang member, leaves a barfight and steals a car, shooting the driver and taking off into the night only to discover an infant in the back seat of the vehicle. The task of having to take care of this child and keep it hidden from neighbours in his slum provides Tsotsi an opportunity to rediscover his own humanity and develop his friend’s notion of ‘decency’. The film vacillates smoothly between exceptionally well-directed moments of dramatic intensity and routinely cliched plot developments that this kind of movie has displayed a million times before. Its most notable quality, besides the excellent acting, is its fantastic soundtrack.