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Tsotsi (2005)

Presley Chweneyagae , Terry Pheto , Gavin Hood  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

Price: $29.26 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Presley Chweneyagae, Terry Pheto
  • Directors: Gavin Hood
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 5, 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0050UEVGO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,297 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tsotsi" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Captivating audiences worldwide, this compelling story of crime and redemption has earned countless awards around the globe including an Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film, 2005.

On the edges of Johannesburg, Tsotsi's life has no meaning beyond survival. One night, in desperation, Tsotsi steals a woman's car. But as he is driving off, he makes a shocking discovery in the backseat. In one moment his life takes a sharp turn and leads him down an unexpected path to redemption...giving him hope for a future he never could have imagined. Tsotsi is an extraordinary portrait of how compassion can endure in the human heart. (Languages: Tsotsitaal, Zulu, Xhosa and English.)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic from start to finish September 10, 2006
Format:DVD
It's so great to finally see a major feature film that shows Africa from an African perspective, as opposed to through the prism of Western eyes. Another recent well-deserved Oscar winner (Best foreign language film) I just had to have in my collection; this is a violent and uncompromising look at life in a Soweto township.

Presley Cheweneyagae plays the lead, a Johannesburg small-time gangster whose nickname Tsotsi means "thug". I read somewhere that Presley was discovered playing Hamlet in a Soweto theatre group. He's a find in a million, as his performance is mesmerising.

Tsotsi finds a baby in the back of a car he's just jacked off a suburban black woman as the woman waited for the security gates outside her home to open. He doesn't do the expected and simply dump the baby at the side of the road - surprisingly, he decides to take it home and care for it. He hasn't a clue how to care for a child of course and he turns to a local woman who makes decorative mobiles from glass. She's a nursing mother herself, and - under the threat of death, mind you - Tsotsi gets her to look after the child while he goes back out there to do his thing.

It's an interesting study of how complex life is for people who don't have much and while the movie doesn't make excuses or descend into sentimentality at any point, it's engaging to gradually see the heart of the man called Tsotsi - a man who at first glance seemed utterly heartless - emerge for all to see. It's a great story, based on the novel by South African playwright Athol Fugard, and the final scenes had me (literally) on the edge of my seat the first time I watched it. Gavin Hood makes good use of Johannesburg's urban setting and the natural beauty of South Africa. I strongly recommend this movie. For anyone who might not know and who may have an interest, this is an authentic slice of African life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gradual Ascension to Manhood and Decency August 4, 2006
Format:DVD
TSOTSI is a jewel of a film, well deserving the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film of 2005. Though set in Johannesburg, South Africa, the story is unfortunately so universal that the film could have been made in any country in the world: the lost children of abusive parents who survive life by relying on crime fill the streets of the poor neighborhoods of all major cities. TSOTSI is a tragedy but it carries a sense of hope and redemption that makes it a powerful statement indeed.

Tsotsi - translated, means 'Thug'- (Presley Chweneyagae) is an amoral youth who heads a gang of four: Boston (Mothusi Magano), Aap (Kenneth Nkosi), and Butcher (Zenzo Ngqobe). The gang steals and in general leads a life of dangerous existence, a life that abruptly alters when the gang robs and kills a gentle older man on the subway. They are on the run now and Tsotsi isolates himself further when he brutally beats Boston. He descends further into the abyss when he steals a car in the wealthy neighborhood, shooting the woman driving, and then discovering that in the back seat is an infant. His childhood flashes before his eyes and he finally shows a degree if buried decency when he takes the child with him as he abandons the stolen vehicle. Young and inexperienced in child care (his own childhood was riddled with hate and abuse), he seeks help from a young woman Miriam (Terry Pheto) who has an infant of her own (with no father) and serves as a wet nurse for the child. The manner in which Tsotsi gradually reconciles his bad life with his nascent response to recognizing kindness and salvation advances the story to its conclusion.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wounded April 18, 2006
Format:DVD
Though "Tsotsi" is set in South Africa and the milieu, to the American eye, is as exotic as a film set on the Moon, the concerns are Universal: the loss or disconnect of ones parents, the longing for a parent's love and caring, a governments lack of concern for a citizens civil rights.

Tsotsi (Presley Chweneygae) is a hood, a young man who kills and steals without any apparent concern for what he is doing and why he is doing it. His face and eyes radiate mostly hate and disdain. He is psychically and emotionally detached and removed. Then, one day he steals a luxury car, shoots the woman to whom it belongs and realizes, once he drives the car away, that there is an infant in the back seat.

This beautiful, innocent child forces Tsotsi ( really named David) to face the loss of his Mother, the uncaring, drunken non-concern of his father and the deep seated, mostly ignored or glossed , psychically ignored feelings with which he hasn't been able to deal.

Director and screenwriter Gavin Hood (adapted from a novel by Athol Fugard) has fashioned a traditionally structured film and peopled it with non-traditional characters and it works because we can all relate to Tsotsi's dilemma. And it doesn't hurt to have Presley Chweneygae as your lead character. The first time we see Tsotsi on screen he looks at the camera with his huge black eyes: eyes that are filled with superiority, despair, disgust and hurt. When he first sees the infant his eyes and face fill with wonder and awe at the utter helplessness and innocence. It is this disparity and friction that makes the film crackle with fire and well observed life.

"Tsotsi" is not a revolutionary film like say the similarly themed "Children of God" but it is a very emotionally effective and socially aware one and Presley Chweneyagae's performance is so natural and truthful that it makes you wince with recognition and empathy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie, sad, uplifting, encouraging, hopeful, love story. Hits so many points and good acting.
Published 14 days ago by EN
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Pretty good tale about a boy
Published 24 days ago by Thea Holtan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good job
Published 1 month ago by Henry afriyie
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film!
Great film! I show it to my students when we bread "Kaffir Boy"
Published 3 months ago by Phillip J. Lavios
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful & Sensitive Character Study---Absent of Prejudice
This film is about redemption and the road it took to get there for one South African young man. It reminds us that everyone is influenced by their journey. Read more
Published 3 months ago by True-Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
Great plot with some very unexpected twists. A chance to get a closer look at life in South Africa's townships. This is a must see movie.
Published 4 months ago by I. E. Moxley
4.0 out of 5 stars Hope for the children of developing nations.
Totsi was a sad story about the growth symptoms of boys (and girls) in awakening countries of the African continent. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alma Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful movie
I love this movie I have bought 3 of them as gifts I will always keep a copy in my collection arrived in 2 day new
Published 5 months ago by Deena B
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT AWSOME
I ENJOY THIS GIVE U SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT IN ARE LIVES TODAY AND HOW WE ARE BLESS I HOPE THEY COME OUT WITH A PART2
Published 6 months ago by Vickie Elaine Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart and soul
My class of senior literature students loved this film, my spouse loved this film, and I loved this film. It definitely bears repeated viewings, so it's worth buying.
Published 7 months ago by Petunia
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