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Tsotsi - Preview

Tsotsi

Preview by Jack Foley

TSOTSI means thug. After watching Gavin Hood’s astonishing movie, you’ll believe that is the only term appropriate for its central character.

The film has been nominated for a Golden Globe as best foreign language film, two Baftas and is on the Oscar shortlist – so it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that it is one of the must-see foreign language films of the year.

After beating one of his own gang almost to death after an argument, Tsotsi (played with breathtaking intensity by Presley Chweneyagae) shoots a woman outside her home and steals her BMW.

In his panic to get away, he is unaware that her baby is in the back.

But the baby in question marks the first stage of his path to redemption, as Tsotsi becomes fascinated by his new young charge and refuses to give him up.

Set in the poverty-stricken townships outside Johannesburg, Tsotsi is a beautifully filmed and convincingly performed thriller that carries an unexpected emotional power.

Its warts-and-all portrait of third-world ghetto life provokes instant comparisons with City Of God and is just as startling and convincing.

It opens in UK cinemas on March 17, 2006, and is a gem just awaiting discovery.

Comments Hood on the reasons behind making the thriller: “In bringing Tsotsi to the screen, our primary intention was to make a taught, well paced, character driven, psychological thriller.

“We also wanted to transport our audience in a world of radical contrasts. Skyscrapers and shacks, wealth and poverty, violent anger and gentle compassion – all collide in a film that is, ultimately, a classic story of redemption.”

The film is adapted from the acclaimed novel by Athol Fugard.