February 28, 2006

Tsotsi: It's Freedomland-Meets-Jersey Girl In Soweto

Tsotsi is nominated for a foreign-language Oscar, which is why you may have been seeing banner ads for it on the NYTimes website. That's all I'd ever heard of it, anyway. Tsotsi means 'thug' in some local Soweto dialect, and it's the nickname of the murderous street urchin who's the main character of the story.

It's only after he kills some woman, jacks her car, and discovers a baby in the backseat that we discover the hurt, abandoned little boy within. Meanwhile, the movie delivers parenting at the end of a gun. and a shank. and a broken bottle. and ---As the Village Voice's Jessica Winter puts it, "not since Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl have audiences been offered such a spectacle of watch-through-your-fingers ineptitude regarding the care and feeding of an infant."

For your consideration.

Baby Steps: Guns for diapers: Kidnapping leads to thug's turnaround [villagevoice.com]

1 Comment

I happened to catch part of Terry Gross's interview with the director on Fresh Air yesterday. He stressed that it is a *movie* and scenes of the kid's distress were edited together from many many takes of usual baby distress at being put down by mom, enhanced by sounds they recorded from many different babies. He also said the ants were CGI. Nonetheless, I'm not sure I can stand to watch it.

[yeah, I didn't mention the ants... -ed.]

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