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Tsotsi is a crook and a murderer, he steals and stabs, intimidates and hits hard on anybody, be it the rich, the poor, or the crippled. He lives in a township of Johannesburg and together with his gang makes a living out of being a criminal. This simple and regular fact of his life is being turned over when – after shooting a woman and stealing her car in one of the rich-peoples’ quarters – he discovers he accidentally has stolen a baby. He decides to give it a go and takes care of the baby, making serious attempts of raising it in his township shack.

African week’s at the home cinema – at last time to catch up with some pretty exciting films that came out over the last years and caught dust on the DVD shelf. This film is seriously flawed in a key notion: it is pretty much unclear why Tsotsi decides to keep the baby, why he not only does not leave it back together with the car (which he gets rid of very quickly as well), but why he is taking on great pains to actually create something like a home for the kid – through his means, which means often involving threats and weapons to other people, such as the lovely woman living near his home whom he forces to breast-feed the baby. Once you have accepted that this boy is torn enough to not only be a bad-ass, but also a bad-bass with self-questioning tendencies, the drama is actually quite touching. Tsotsis problem is that he never thought about alternatives to his life in crime, and a (literally) small thing such as a baby with very basic needs and functions turns around his life. The thrilling thing to watch is how he decides to allow this experiment, even though he must know that it will completely uproot him and probably destroy his existence.

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