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The Wooden Camera (2003)

Jean-Pierre Cassel , Junior Singo , Ntshavheni Wa Luruli  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Price: $15.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jean-Pierre Cassel, Junior Singo
  • Directors: Ntshavheni Wa Luruli
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: TLA Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: March 15, 2005
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00077BPI2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,673 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Two thirteen year old boys play along the railway line in Kayelitsha, a township close to Capetown. A dead man is tossed from a passing train, clutching an attach case. Inside, the boys discover a gun and a video camera. Sipho takes the gun, Madiba takes the camera. Madiba hides the camera within a makeshift wooden box to avoid losing his new toy. Through the lens, his everyday surroundings take on a strange new beauty. Sipho becomes a gang leader, operating out of Capetown, accompanied by Madiba who is more interested in filming luxurious city life than crime. Madiba films a young white girl, Estelle, stealing a book from a bookstore, which she gives him as she leaves.

Special Features:

  • Director Biography
  • Stills Gallery
  • TLA Releasing Trailers

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars choose the camera January 24, 2007
In the first few minutes of this South African film two young teenage friends discover a dead body with a huge pistol and a video camera. The shy introvert Madiba chooses the camera, while cocky Sipho takes the gun. The film explores the consequences of those choices. Madiba hides the VCR in a home-made wooden camera, enabling him to shoot everyone and anything on the sly. He experiments with the aesthetic, technical and voyeuristic aspects of film-making. Refracting light with different lenses, candles, floating plastic bags, and even the bubbles of a drink awaken his artistic bent. His cinematic creations form a significant portion of the film. "Some day," he hopes, "my pictures will hang in houses." Sipho's gun awakens in him foolish bravado, and we watch him descend to petty crime, drugs, gangs and finally horrible tragedy. Between them both is an improbable, budding romance between Madiba and a rebellious white girl, Estelle, from a wealthy family with racist secrets of their own. This film is good, not great, but well worth watching for its themes of adolescence, choices, fate, friendship, and racism in a post-apartheid township of Cape Town.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and well performed March 1, 2012
By Ingrid
Starting slow and in a kind of half documentary style and with a feeling of a homemade video to a well developed and so believable storyline - making this a great glimpse into five young people's lives and destinies - based on split-second choices they do. The young actors are doing a fine job and the story is interesting. I really liked and enjoyed this film and I think it ends just perfect. A film worth seeing.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of friendship and more October 20, 2005
Wooden Box is a tale of friendship between children of different South African social classes. It's reminicent of a Brazilian slum movie, but with aspects of the ills of society (racism) A good unknown cast of young actors helps the movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mesmerizing July 12, 2009
I picked this film up at Blockbuster for $3.99. This was a great little film about 2 boys from the shanty towns of South Africa and their chance encounter to a murdered man being thrown from a train. They find the mans gun and video camera and each boy takes home his choosen prize. Each boy unknowingly chooses his destiny thru the use of their finds. I found this film very moving and the characters really sweet and full of the innoscense of growing up and learning that the choices we make effect us for ever. This gave me the simular feeling I had when I watched Central Station, a wonderful film from Brazil, about a small boy who sets out and searches for his father after his mother is killed.
You really should see these films. The Wooden Camera is a gem......
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5.0 out of 5 stars superb! January 30, 2011
By dln819
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I loved that the plot was absolutely unpredictable and flowed through the eyes of youth who envision hope and possibilities in this world of mazed impossibilities. It is a journey into again the human condition without solution only the potential for change which is precisely where we are.
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