"One’s name remains above the grave." Ethiopian proverb
SYNOPSISTSOTSI n. thug. gangster, hoodlum The movie takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa, where survival is the main objective. Tsotsi traces six days in the life of a ruthless young gang leader. Tsotsi is a moving portrayal of an angry young man living in a state of extreme urban deprivation. This film is a psychological thriller in which Tsotsi is compelled to confront his own brutal nature and face the consequences of his actions. It puts a human face on both the victims and the perpetrators of a violent crime and is ultimately a story of hope and triumph of love over rage. Nineteen year old Tsotsi has repressed memories of his past, including his real name. Tsotsi, the name given to him at birth in the ghetto of Johannesburg, South Africa means thug or gangster in the language of the street. He has no regard for the feelings of others. He has hardened himself of all emotion and shows no compassion for others. Tsotsi has no name, no past, and no plans for the future. He leads a gang of social misfits including Boston, a failed teacher, Butcher, a cold blooded murderer, and Ap muscle man. The movie begins with the gang selecting a victim to rob. They surround him on the train and during the mugging Butcher stabs the man, and they leave him on the floor of the train. Tsotsi and Boston get in a fight after Boston taunts him about his past and his name, Boston keeps pushing and taunting him and then Tsotsi explodes into a rage and he beats Boston to a pulp with his fists.
Any river that forgets its source will definitely dry up ~ Frank Yugo Tsotsi runs away after beating of his friend, painful memories are running through his mind, he runs from the shantytown into the suburbs of the city. Tsotsi collapses in the rain and sees a woman struggling to get in her gate, he sees an opportunity for an easy car jacking. He pulls his gun shoves her out of the way, and starts to drive away, she comes back around and opens the door and he shoots her in the stomach. He drives away and then hears the cry of a baby, he loses control and wrecks the car. The baby is screaming, he walks away and then returns and the baby stops crying. He gathers the baby’s things and puts him in a shopping bag and heads back to shantytown. He hides the baby from his gang and tries to take care of him, but the baby screams constantly. Tsotsi finds a young mother and forces her by gunpoint to breast feed the baby. He threatens that he will kill her if she tells anyone. She is afraid at first but then discovers the pain that Tsotsi has endured. The gang decides to rob again and Tsotsi returns to the house in the suburbs where he shot the mother of the baby in the car. They tie up the husband and go through the house, he asks about the wife and discovers she is in the hospital. He looks in the babies room and takes some baby items. Butcher goes to kill the man and Tsotsi shoots his friend before he stabs the man. They flee the house and the woman who is caring for the baby convinces him to return the child to the couple.
Sanders Movie Review Tsotsi is not an easy movie to watch. It has very violent and graphic scenes. The movie depicts the life of a young man with a traumatic childhood. He ran away from home at a young age due to an abusive father. The movie gives an honest portrayal of the ghetto of Johannesburg and its main character plays both a villain and a hero. The violence is raw and I found myself cringing many times throughout the movie. Tsotsi tried to raise the child brought into his life and change into a better man. After he brutally beat his friend he was able to finally make amends to him. The woman who cared for the baby began to see Tsotsi as a person, not a thug. When Tsotsi finally returned the baby to its parents he was overcome with grief and deep emotion. The father ‘s life had been spared by Tsotsi, but on the other hand , Tsotsi had shot the man’s wife and kidnapped his son. I would recommend everyone watch this movie as its an honest portrayal of a South African youth who lives in a place without hope, where life has no meaning, and survival is the only thing that matters. Amongst all of this chaos and horror, his life changes forever in one moment in time, a moment that at best can be defined as cruel insanity meeting pure innocence. This is a movie representing hope and redemption. A powerful glimpse in the life of a teenager who has grown up in South Africa to become a gangster and inflict the same hardships he and his family suffered on his fellow people. “Demography is Destiny” came to my mind when the ghettos of Johannesburg were featured in the movie. Tsotsi stole from the rich to keep himself above the poverty line, the conditions of the shantytown make it difficult for youth to rise above the environment and its negative forces. Tsotsi represents any young man of color in our county, in our world. In order to help another we must first help ourselves. To help our young people, we must give them hope, love and support. We must not allow violence to be an option for their existence.