Tsotsi Poster

Release Date: 2005

DVD Release Date: July 18th, 2006

R|1 hr 31 min

Plot Summary
A South African hoodlum named Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae) lives by a code of violence, and he and his gang of thugs prowl the streets of Johannesburg day and night, attacking those who fail to give them what they want. After casually shooting a woman and stealing her car, he discovers her baby in the back seat. Instead of harming the mewling infant, he takes it home and cares for it. The child acts as a catalyst for the hardened thug to regain his humanity.

Cast: Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano, Israel Makoe, Percy Matsemela, Jerry Mofokeng, Benny Moshe, Nambitha Mpumlwana, Zenzo Ngqobe

Director: Gavin Hood

Genres: Drama

Production Co: Movie World, UK Film and TV Production Co., National Film and Video Foundation of SA

Keywords: 2000s, Love, Gritty, Mother, Emotional, Murder, Transformation

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Ratings & Reviews

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  • Brutal but believable, the film in some ways harks back to early Hollywood, when Jimmy Cagney or Richard Widmark played callow villains out of their depth in everyday life. show more

  • Evocatively shot by cinematographer Lance Gewer in warm browns and reds that make Tsotsi seem all the more chilling, the film records his gradual metamorphosis from id-driven brute into empathic, if crude, care-giver. show more

  • Presley Chweneyagae's Tsotsi makes his presence deeply felt. In a world of heedless children wielding guns, his tale is a heartening one.

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Best Foreign Language Film
Nominated Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a Director, Writer or Producer in Their First Feature Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (2005)
Nominated Film Not in the English Language
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (2005)
Winner Foreign Language Film