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'Tsotsi' Tells a Tale of New Africa on Film

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'Tsotsi' Tells a Tale of New Africa on Film

Movies

'Tsotsi' Tells a Tale of New Africa on Film

'Tsotsi' Tells a Tale of New Africa on Film

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5231939/5231950" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Presley Chweneyagae is Tsotsi, right, along with Terry Pheto as Zola. Blid Alsbirk/Miramax hide caption

toggle caption Blid Alsbirk/Miramax

Gavin Hood previously directed A Reasonable Man and In Desert and Wilderness. Blid Alsbirk/Miramax hide caption

toggle caption Blid Alsbirk/Miramax

A hardened young South African gang leader steals a woman's car -– then finds out her baby is in the back seat. So starts the South African film Tsotsi, which is up for an Academy Award for best foreign film.

The story exposes parallels between the lost child and Tsotsi, the lead character whose name is Afrikaans for "gangster." Forced to repress memories of his own childhood — along with his name — Tsotsi has become a feared man in the Soweto region of Johannesburg. But as Tsotsi is prompted to confront his own past, a new sense of responsibility also comes into play.

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Based on the novel by Athol Fugard, the film was directed by Gavin Hood; it stars first-time actor Presley Chweneyagae. The camera follows Tsotsi through Soweto's tumultuous society, with the pounding sounds of hip-hop-derived Kwaito music as a backdrop.

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'Tsotsi' Soundtrack

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Album
'Tsotsi' Soundtrack
Artist
Mark Kilan, Paul Hepker and various artists
Released
2006

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