Tsotsi (2005): Crime/Drama

When a young gangster commits a crime he never expected, he finds himself experiencing emotions he never had before.

Mise-en-scene and editing that enhance the narrative, move the story forward and emphasise on the pain but also hope. Tsotsi which, from what I read, means “thug” in Johannesburg slang, was the rightful Oscar winner 2006 for the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year!

When I first watched it back then, I may have had no idea about who Gavin Hood was, or may have not known about films what I know now, or even could not understand what I understand now about South Africa’s torment… but still I was filled with tears in the end while watching it mouth agape. Tsotsi is the torn (anti)hero’s journey that will make you hate him, feel for him, and then be left with so many mixed feelings, rethinking of Boston’s “decency” – and “redemption” (my addition). Megan Hill’s editing plays a tremendous role in narratives such as this as it paces the audience’s emotions and defines the film’s rhythm. It is a masterclass! There are so many more technical details that I could urge you to pay attention to, but no need. Let the film speak to you.

I was fresh out of the special forces back then and, to a certain extent, beside myself, and Tsotsi helped me reevaluate certain aspects of life. That is the power of cinema and, like every other form of art, it is part of our lives, affecting it in ways we could never predict or plan. As much as liked Hood’s Official Secrets (2019) https://kaygazpro.com/2019/12/16/official-secrets-2019-biography-drama-romance/ Tsotsi still remains my all time favourite of his. Last but not least, Presley Chweneyagae’s realistic incarnation of Tsotsi will make you forget he is actually acting. Enjoy the thrill!

Stay safe!

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