Studying Tsotsi

BookStudying Tsotsi

Studying Tsotsi

Studying Films


April 1st, 2010





Tsotsi (2005) is a life-affirming, if raw, coming-of-age story that boldly confronts the legacy of Apartheid and Africa's present struggle to overcome poverty and crime. A small film about a disenfranchised teenage boy, the drama vividly articulates themes of disaffection, desperation, and violence and situates them within a critical African dilemma: the fight for "decency." This struggle knows no color lines and plays out across every city in the world. Aside from being an enriching addition to any examination of world cinema, this study will spark a tremendous discussion about equality and diversity that will resonate in any classroom. Studying Tsotsi covers world cinema as a genre, or the cultural and imperialistic implications of Hollywood versus the world. It also confronts representations of youth; similarities to other world films, such as City of God (2002) and Pixote (1981); comparisons with other films set in Africa, such as Cry Freedom (1987) and The Kitchen Toto (1987); cultural context and ideology; audience reception; and the redemption narrative as a universal and relatable quest.

Author Information

Judith Gunn started her career working for BBC Radio 1 as a chat show researcher. She went on to work for all 4 BBC Radio networks as a researcher, writer, producer and occasional broadcaster. She went on to work for the Radio Times and has written five books to date, including two biographies and a novelisation of a film. She is now a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Cirencester College, where she teaches all aspects of the AS and A2 specification for OCR.