'Tsotsi' Tells a Tale of New Africa on Film

Presley Chweneyagae is Tsotsi, right, along with Terry Pheto as Zola.

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

itoggle caption Blid Alsbirk/Miramax
Gavin Hood

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

itoggle 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.

See a Trailer

Watch

'Tsotsi'

 

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.

Purchase Featured Music

'Tsotsi' Soundtrack

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

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

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.