Tsotsi (2005): Similar Brutality

From: South Africa, United Kingdom

Director: Gavin Hood

I bought this DVD in my most favorite discovery in Taipei, eslite, and somehow it got lost in all the rubbish that surrounds the movie system in my house. I guess it reappeared when it should have.

I think of South African cinema as quite similar to that of the Philippines, mostly Manila. Most themes circle around the city streets and slums or oppression from crime and poverty. Does that mean we somehow have a similar thread in culture? I’ve never been anywhere in Africa, hence I cannot say. But if that’s true, then perhaps the brutality in its culture is also the source of its spirit, just as it is in Manila.

Tsotsi is a South African word describing a dodgy character, a gangster. He steals and fights to survive. He steals cars with babies, torments blind men in wheelchairs, beats up his friend to a pulp. I don’t want to say that despite these, he’s still has a heart inside blah blah. Because the good guy inside does not survive being a good guy given his circumstances in life. His hidden heart is not permitted to come out from hiding when the world it grew in does not allow hope. He surrenders. He steals and fights.

That world is bleak. That world is raw. And I love that the thoughts it gives you are as raw and as bleak as the non-actors themselves.



What this film holds for me:

What: ambiguous ending which turns out has 2 alternate endings – must get copies of these