Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Written and Directed byGAVIN HOOD
Based on the novel "Tsotsi" by ATHOL FUGARD

Stephen Bess said, "This is Boyz -n- The Hood and Dead Presidents South African style. A great film!"

I had the pleasure last night of attending a private screening of the South African film, Tsotsi. The film has gained instantly popularity after winning (to name a few) the Thessaloniki Film Festival 2005, Toronto Film Festival 2005, Edinburgh film festival 2005 and recently stole the heart of the American Academy for best foreign film of 2005. The film stars actor, Presley Chweneyagae who portrayed (Tsotsi, meaning Thug) the painfully familiar displaced, disenfranchised, angry, lost thug trying to survive in the shantytowns of a new, but still overwhelmingly poor South Africa. The film didn’t dwell on the important past/present issues of South Africa such as Apartheid and discrimination, but the affects of that system were plain to see in the images presented in the townships. There were also rarely seen images of Johannesburg that skyline could rival any other skyline in the Western world. Although there were some moments of humor in Tsotsi, it is current day South Africa in all of its urban beauty and ugliness.

The film takes a dramatic turn when Tsotsi car jacks a woman just to find that there is a baby in the car. He is forced to care for the child rather than abandon him. The child forces him to deal with the demons of his own childhood and eventually compels him to examine his own humanity. This is when the healing begins. The film also co-stars Mothusi Magano (Boston) who urges his comrades to examine their own “decency” and Terry Pheto who plays Miriam, the beauty that helps calm Tsotsi beast within. This is an excellent film and a must see for all. There are about five different languages spoken in this subtitled film including Zulu, Sesotho, and SA Slang, but it doesn’t take away from an absolutely riveting performance from an outstanding cast and crew. The film will hit selected locations in the United States on Friday, March 10th. Go see this film!


Mrs A. said...

thank u!!!

Stephen A. Bess said...

My pleasure! :)

Spin_Doc1 said...

I will put it on my list of things to do this weekend, thank you.

Sumeeta said...

It's been a while since I have been here, but I love that picture of you!

I had heard of Tsoti too and hopefully I will get to see it on DVD. I would like to wholeheartedly recommend Born into Brothels. It's a documentary, but is a wonderful look at the lives of children living in the brothels of India.

Stephen A. Bess said...

spin doc1-
Yes, it should be enjoyable

Hey there! Where have you been??? I know, I know...busy working. Always a pleasure. The documentary on India sounds interesting. I watched one not long ago concerning young girls being forced into prostitution. I'll have to look that one up. Thanks!

A.u.n.t. Jackie said...

i thought the speech the producer gave when he accepted his Oscar was one of the best moments of the nights! I must see this movie, although it was already my pick to win!

Stephen A. Bess said...

I didn't see the Oscar Awards show. Now, I'm sorry that I missed the speech.

Anonymous said...

Great analogy Stephen :)

Apparently there is a child in every thug!! Some of those children have survived horrible ordeals....Tsotsi by choice or reeled into it??

Have a great day :)

Stephen A. Bess said...

Were you a female Tsotsi growing up? :)

MJW said...

Wow, this sounds really great. Is it in D.C. yet?

Stephen A. Bess said...

Yes, it's playing in downtown DC. This is the address:

Landmark's E Street Cinema
555 11th St. NW
Washington, DC

Definitely check it out. The soundtrack sounds great also.

All-Mi-T [Thought Crime] Rawdawgbuffalo said...

yea, the last time i was in Jo-burg, they were taking about this flick

Anonymous said...

My dear Stephen, there's a Tsotsi in all of us. Especially, those of us who have inherited over 500years of oppression, marginalization, and disposession.

I would still be your groupie in my Tsotsi life though!!! ***wink***
I have the decency **double wink***

Stephen A. Bess said...

Mr. Stephens-
Yes, it almost ready for video by the time it hits the states. It was a good film. I think that I will be checking it out again. I can't wait to visit the RSA.

You possess a great deal of decency and grace. **wink**

NML/Natalie said...

I'm dying to see this film. It comes out here in the UK on the 17th.

Stephen A. Bess said...

I really enjoyed this film! I'm going to see it again.

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