Tsotsi Film Analysis

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Tsotsi (2005), directed by Gavin Hood is a passionate and intense movie, that touches on several sensitive subjects of African life, specifically South African life in Soweto. The film was taken from the novel Tsotsi by South African writer Athol Fugard, which was first published in 1980 during the era of apartheid. Set in the Soweto Township, Tsotsi, the main protagonist is a time-hardened criminal, who makes a living through crime and violence. Tsotsi perfectly portrays a slightly more modernistic take on the original novel. ‘Tsotsi’ means criminal or gangster in Afrikaans, which helps us further understand how Tsotsi’s childhood and experiences have shaped him into the person he was for the majority of the movie. Tsotsi is a young killer whose life is suddenly turned around by a small helpless baby, who helps him on his path of rediscovering his identity, that he has kept behind the mask of no emotion. That even though his past represents poverty and despair, the most unexpected person made his life and future more hopeful, brighter, and be better than the worse majority of his life. At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to the Township of Soweto with a well calculated aerial shot, that shows the conditions of the impoverished slum-like part of South Africa. Accompanied by one of the many theme tunes of the film, Tsotsi first appears on the screen with a close-up shot of his house that had dim lighting. Then we are introduced to the harsh life of the Township
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