A couple of nights ago Tom's younger brother Nick kindly offered to babysit for us so we jumped at the chance to see a film in town. I'm embarrassed to say that the last time I went to see a film was over a year ago! But I've since made a pact to go more often... I'd forgotten how wonderful it is to go to the movies.
We saw 'Tsotsi', a South African film directed and written by Gavin Hood. It was amazing, from the intense storyline and character portrayal, to the breathtaking South African hip-hop music (most performed by the artist Zola who also acts in the film) throughout.
This is actor Presley Chweneyagae, who played the main character 'Tsotsi.' In the film his name means 'thug', and he is a hardened gang leader whose mother died from AIDS when he was a child, leaving him to grow up among a group of other orphans in a collection of abandoned concrete pipes at the edge of Johannesberg city. The film is set in the outlying ghetto of Soweto, and follows Tsotsi for the six days after he attempts to murder a woman outside her house, and steal her car and money. As he drives the car away, he discovers her baby in the back seat, so the film is about how his life changes after this.
It made me realise that I need to read more/see more/hear more from this part of the world. I find it too easy to immerse myself in media of my own culture, 'comfortable' music, films, television... without taking a further step to explore the more obscure offerings that aren't so well promoted in our media. And Africa is such an unknown (sometimes I feel like I don't want to know about some of the terrible suffering and strife) to me, I'd like to learn more. I certainly need to hear more of that music, too!
Tsotsi is the most incredible, moving and gripping story of redemption I think I have ever seen in a film, and I highly recommend it if you have the chance to see it.