Presley Chweneyagae

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Africa United Review


Very Good
Even when this film begins to feel a little awkward, sheer energy keeps it afloat, both entertaining us with a lively adventure romp and vividly showing us the realities of life in Africa. While sometimes sentimental, it's refreshingly never preachy.

In rural Rwanda, Dudu (Ndayambaje) is a 13-year-old fast-talker who seems able to make just about anything happen. He convinces his pal Fabrice (Nsengiyumva) into trying out for a team of children taking part in the World Cup opening ceremony. But their journey is derailed when they board the wrong bus, and they end up as refugees travelling cross-country to Johannesburg. Along the way, they're joined by young Bea (Kintu), who wants to become a doctor; George (Dusenge), who's running from gun-toting thugs; and teen runaway Celeste (Silver), who works in the sex trade.

Continue reading: Africa United Review

Tsotsi Review


Very Good
Tsotsi marks one of the few times, ever, that I have seen an Academy Award nominated foreign language film before the March 5th ceremony. The films the Academy picks are always the year-end greats in those countries which we won't see for a solid three months, if then. The fact that Cache, Kings & Queen, and Cafe Lumiere weren't even on the short list sent me reeling. However, having seen Tsotsi, I now understand why those films weren't picked. As with every other film category, you can tell instantly why the film would look good in the Academy's eyes.

In the slum villages of Johannesburg, Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae) roams with his reptilian eyes piercing through every other inhabitant, silent and predatory. He takes the subway into the city with his gang to rob and murder with little thought. In one of the first scenes, Butcher (Zenzo Ngqobe) stabs a man they are robbing without care. There is a flash of morality in Tsotsi's eyes that is quickly covered by cool dispassion, later riled up by Boston (an effective Mothusi Magano). On a walk in the neighboring suburbs, Tsotsi steals a car and shoots the owner. It's not but a few minutes later that he realizes there is a child in the back seat. Shoving the baby into a shopping bag, Tsotsi (South African slang for thug) returns home and reluctantly decides to take care of it. He forces breast milk and motherly love from Miriam (an excellent Terry Pheto) by gunpoint and eventually grows what Boston calls "decency." But not before alienating his old friend Aap (Kenneth Nkosi) and attempting to return the baby.

Continue reading: Tsotsi Review

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Presley Chweneyagae Movies

Africa United Movie Review

Africa United Movie Review

Even when this film begins to feel a little awkward, sheer energy keeps it afloat,...

Tsotsi Movie Review

Tsotsi Movie Review

Tsotsi marks one of the few times, ever, that I have seen an Academy Award...

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