Tsotsi

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Tsotsi
Tsotsiposter.jpg
Theatrical Poster
Directed by Gavin Hood
Produced by Peter Fudakowski
Screenplay by Gavin Hood
Based on Tsotsi by Athol Fugard
Starring Presley Chweneyagae
Music by Vusi Mahlasela
Mark Kilian
Paul Hepker
Cinematography Lance Gewer
Editing by Megan Gill
Studio The UK Film & TV Production Company PLC
Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa
The National Film and Video Foundation of SA
Moviworld
Tsotsi Films
Distributed by Ster-Kinekor Pictures
(South Africa)
Miramax Films
(United States)
Release dates
Running time 94 minutes
Country South Africa, United Kingdom
Language Afrikaans
isiZulu
isiXhosa
English
Budget $3 million
Box office $9,879,971

Tsotsi is a 2005 film directed by Gavin Hood and produced by Peter Fudakowski. It is also an adaptation of the novel Tsotsi, by Athol Fugard and a South African/UK co-production . The soundtrack features Kwaito music performed by popular South African artist Zola as well as a score by Mark Kilian and Paul Hepker featuring the voice of South African protest singer/poet Vusi Mahlasela.

Set in an Alexandra slum, in Johannesburg, South Africa, the film tells the story of Tsotsi, a young street thug who steals a car only to discover a baby in the back seat.

The film won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.

Plot[edit]

Because his mother dying of a terminal disease, David (Benny Moshe) runs away from an abusive father and lives with other homeless children in a series of large concrete construction pipes. A few years later, David, who now goes by the name Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae), is the leader of a gang which includes his friends Butcher (Zenzo Ngqobe), Aap (Kenneth Nkosi) and Boston (Mothusi Magano). After getting involved in a murder committed by Butcher during a mugging, Tsotsi and Boston get into a fight which leaves Boston badly injured. Tsotsi later shoots Pumla (Nambitha Mpumlwana), a young woman, while stealing her car, only to discover a three-month-old baby in the back seat. Tsotsi hastily strips the car of its valuables and takes the baby back to his shack. Pumla survives the attack and works with a police artist to create a composite sketch of Tsotsi's face, which is then run in the newspapers.

Realizing that he cannot properly care for the baby on his own, Tsotsi spots Miriam (Terry Pheto), with a young child strapped to her back, collecting water from a public tap. He follows her to her shack and forces her at gunpoint to feed the kidnapped child. Meanwhile, rich gang leader Fela (Zola) begins attempting to recruit Aap, Boston and Butcher to work for him. When Tsotsi takes the child to Miriam a second time, she asks him to leave the boy with her so that she can care for him on Tsotsi's behalf, and Tsotsi agrees.

Tsotsi decides to take care of the injured Boston, and has Aap and Butcher take Boston to his shack. Boston, who is called Teacher Boy by his friends, explains that he never took the teachers' examination. Tsotsi tells him that the gang will raise the money so that Boston can take the exam, which means they will have to commit another robbery.

Tsotsi, Butcher and Aap go to Pumla's house. When Pumla's husband John (Rapulana Seiphemo) returns from the hospital, they follow him into the house and tie him up. Aap is assigned to watch John while Butcher ransacks the bedroom and Tsotsi collects items from the baby’s room. When Aap goes to raid the fridge, John activates the alarm. In a panic, Butcher attempts to kill John with John's pistol that he found, but Tsotsi shoots and kills Butcher with his pistol and he and Aap escape in John's car moments before the security company arrives.

Traumatized by Tsotsi's killing of Butcher and fearing that Tsotsi will one day harm him too, Aap decides to leave the gang and quit as Tsotsi's friend. When Tsotsi goes back to Miriam's house she reveals that she knows where he got the baby, and begs him to return the child to his parents.

Tsotsi sets off to return the baby. He reaches John's house, tells John over the intercom that he will leave the child outside the gate. Meanwhile, an officer stationed at the house alerts Captain Smit (Ian Roberts), who rushes to the scene, arriving just as Tsotsi is about to walk away.

The police train their guns on Tsotsi, ordering him to return the baby. However, John urges them to lower their weapons so that he can retrieve the baby himself. As Tsotsi holds the baby in his arms, John convinces him to give up the baby. Tsotsi emotionally hands the baby to John, then is told to put up his hands and turns himself in as the film ends.

Alternate endings[edit]

The film ends with Tsotsi raising his hands, and doesn't disclose what happens thereafter. Two unused endings were shot for the film, which can be seen on the Tsotsi DVD. In one, Tsotsi is shot in the shoulder, and while the officers are shocked at what happened, he escapes through a large field back to the Soweto slums after avoiding another shot from the chief police officer. In the other, Tsotsi is shot in the chest while reaching for the baby's milk. He collapses and dies while John and Pumla look on in horror.

Cast[edit]

Awards[edit]

Tsotsi won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film[1] and was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.[2]

Gavin Hood was also nominated for the 2005 Non-European Film - Prix Screen International at the European Film Awards for his work on the film.[3]

Soundtrack[edit]

Tsotsi
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released

16

February 2006
Genre Kwaito
Hip hop
Afro-Pop
Length 1:08:15
Label Milan Entertainment
Producer Emmanuel Chamboredon
No. Title Writer(s) Performed by Length
1. "Mdlwembe"   Kabelo "Kaybee" Ikaneng Zola 4:17
2. "Bhambatha"   Thabiso Tsotetsi Zola 4:22
3. "Zingu 7"   Kabelo "Kaybee" Ikaneng Zola 2:43
4. "Matofotofo"   Composed by Cleopas Monyepao, Lyrics by T. Ngeobo, S. Msimanga Pitch Black Afro featuring Bravo 4:52
5. "Sgubhu Sam"   Unathi Unathi 4:10
6. "Munt'Omnyama"   Lyrics by T. Kgosinkwe, Additional Lyrics by T. Seate, A. Muphemi Mafikizolo featuring Stoan & Jahseed from Bongo Maffin 4:31
7. "Palesa"   Thabiso Tsotetsi Zola 3:59
8. "Seven"   Kabelo "Kaybee" Ikaneng Zola 4:09
9. "Ehlala"   Lyrics by Bonginkosi "Zola" Dlamini, Composed by Thabiso Tsotetsi, Cleopas Monyepao Zola 4:37
10. "C.R.A.Z.Y"   Bongani Fassie, 37 MPH Ishmael featuring Bongz 4:10
11. "It's Your Life"   Bonginkosi "Zola" Dlamini, Thabiso Tsotetsi, Cleopas Monyepao Zola 4:57
12. "Woof Woof"   Kabelo "Kaybee" Ikaneng Zola 3:18
13. "Stolen Legs"   Mark Kilian, Paul Hepker Mark Kilian and Paul Hepker featuring Vusi Mahlasela 0:59
14. "On The Tracks"   Mark Kilian, Paul Hepker Mark Kilian and Paul Hepker featuring Vusi Mahlasela 1:11
15. "Silang Mabele"   Vusi Mahlasela Vusi Mahlasela 5:38
16. "Bye Bye Baby"   Mark Kilian, Paul Hepker Mark Kilian and Paul Hepker featuring Vusi Mahlasela 1:52
17. "Baby Handover"   Mark Kilian, Paul Hepker Mark Kilian and Paul Hepker featuring Vusi Mahlasela 1:59
18. "E Sale Noka"   Mark Kilian, Paul Hepker, Vusi Mahlasela Vusi Mahlasela and the A-Team 1:53
19. "Ghetto Scandalous"   Bonginkosi "Zola" Dlamini, Amu, Kabelo "Kaybee" Ikaneng Zola 4:46
Total length:
1:08:15

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (2006-03-17). "Tsotsi". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  2. ^ "Golden Globe nominations announced". Time Out. 2005-12-14. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  3. ^ Hernandez, Eugene (2005-11-15). "11 Films Vying for Best non-European film". indieWire. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 

External links[edit]