Movie Update: Tsotsi



The Toronto International Film Festival has given awards to some of the greatest films, both American and Foriegn, to come out in the recent years. Movies like Hotel Rawanda, , Whale Rider, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Life Is Beautiful have all gone through the festival and have either won or have been nominated for an award. And sometimes, some of these movies go on to win other awards.

So it would seem fitting that this year's winner Tsotsi is already looking to be nominated for an Oscar.

A virtual overnight sucess, Tsotsi has been getting rave reviews. Even before the Toronto Film Festival, the South African film already won two awards at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

Directed by Gavin Hood and taken from the 1980 novel by playwrite Athol Fugard, the story follows a young gang leader through the townships of Soweto, the largest township in Johanesburg. 19-year old Tsotsi is a young man with no recollection of his past, including his real name. (Tsotsi is means “thug” in street slang) In the bleakness of where they live, Tsotsi and his friends murder and rape for no reason at all. Violence has become so ingrained in them. One night, Tsotsi is pushed to the limit when his friend Boston pressures him to remember something from his past. After beating Boston to a bloody pulp, Tsotsi runs out of the township and into a more affluent area, where he sees a woman driving a BMW into her driveway. Forcing the woman out of the car, he steals it, not realizing that there is a three month old child in the backseat. After crashing the car, Tsotsi decides to take the baby with him. Through caring for the child, Tsotsi begins to come to terms with his own past and his violent nature.

The film looks visually stunning and its soundtrack is all Kwaito music. “Kwaito” music is popular music that come directly from the townships. One of the best known Kwaito singers, Zola plays one of the characters in the movie.

Miramax Films has “sealed the deal” and will be releasing the film in the United States.