Infobox Film
name = Tsotsi

caption = Theatrical Poster
director = Gavin Hood
producer = Peter Fudakowski
writer = Athol Fugard (novel),
Gavin Hood (screenplay)
starring = Presley Chweneyagae
music = Vusi Mahlasela
Mark Kilian
Paul Hepker
cinematography = Lance Gewer
editing = Megan Gill
distributor = Miramax Films (USA)
released = flagicon|UK 18 August, 2005 (premiere at EFF
flagicon|South Africa 23 December, 2005
flagicon|Australia 23 February, 2006
flagicon|USA 24 February, 2006 (limited)
flagicon|UK 17 March, 2006
runtime = 94 min.
country = flagicon|South Africa South Africa
location =
language = Tsotsitaal
budget = $3,000,000
gross = $9,879,971
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 331862
imdb_id = 0468565

"Tsotsi" is a 2005 film adaptation of the novel "Tsotsi", by Athol Fugard, written and directed by Gavin Hood and set in a Soweto slum, near Johannesburg, South Africa. The soundtrack features Kwaito music performed by the popular South African artist Zola as well as a score by Mark Kilian and Paul Hepker featuring the voice of South African protest singer/poet Vusi Mahlasela.


"Tsotsi" won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, at least five "audience" or "people's choice" awards at various film festivals, including top prize at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, and was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.

Gavin Hood was also nominated for the 2005 Non-European Film - Prix Screen InternationalScreen International at the European Film Awards for his work on the movie.


*Presley Chweneyagae - Tsotsi
*Mothusi Magano - Boston/Teacher boy
*Israel Makoe - Tsotsi's father
*Percy Matsemela - Sergeant Zuma
*Jerry Mofokeng - Morris
*Benny Moshe - Young Tsotsi
*Nambitha Mpumlwana - Pumla Dube
*Zenzo Ngqobe - Butcher
*Kenneth Nkosi - Aap
*Thembi Nyandeni - Soekie
*Terry Pheto - Miriam
*Ian Roberts - Captain Smit
*Rapulana Seiphemo - John Dube
*Owen Sejake - Gumboot Dlamini
*Zola - Fela


* Tsotsi (David): Leader of a gang of small-time thugs. His name is "Tsotsi" for "thug."

* Boston / Teacher Boy: A member of Tsotsi's gang and a heavy drinker, Boston was studying to be a teacher before he quit college and moved to the shacks. He frequently pleads for decency and moderation in the gang's dealings. It is revealed in a deleted scene that Boston quit school after raping a classmate.

* Die Aap: Tsotsi's childhood friend, Aap is obedient and happy-go-lucky, and relies on Tsotsi heavily, rarely thinking for himself.

* Butcher: The fourth member of Tsotsi's gang, and the most violent, Butcher is a cheat and a loose cannon who doesn't hesitate to commit murder.

* Morris: A beggar who worked in the gold mines until he was permanently crippled when a beam fell on his legs, Morris begs at the Park Metro Station.

* Miriam: A widow with a young son who lives near Tsotsi in the slum. She earns money by sewing and selling handicrafts.

* John and Pumla: The parents of the kidnapped child.

* Captain Smit: A police captain.


His mother dying from complications from HIV disease, the young David ran away from an abusive father and lived with other homeless children in a series of large concrete construction pipes. At the start of the film, David, now known to all as Tsotsi, is involved in a murder committed by Butcher during a mugging. After a fight with Boston, Tsotsi shoots Pumla, a young woman, while stealing her car, only to discover a three-month-old baby in the back seat.

Tsotsi hastily strips the car of its valuables and takes the baby back to his shack.

The woman survives the attack, and works with a police artist to create a composite sketch of Tsotsi's face, which is then run in the newspapers.

Realizing that he cannot properly care for the baby on his own, Tsotsi spots Miriam, with a young child strapped to her back, collecting water from a public tap. He follows her to her shack and forces her at gunpoint to feed the kidnapped child.

Meanwhile, rich gang leader Fela begins attempting to recruit Aap, Boston and Butcher to work for him.

After he takes the child to Miriam a second time, she asks Tsotsi to leave the child with her so that she can care for him on Tsotsi's behalf. Tsotsi agrees.

Tsotsi decides to take care of the injured Boston, and has the men take Boston to his shack. Boston explains that he never took the teachers' examination, and Tsotsi tells him that the gang will raise the money so that Boston can take the exam. To do so, they will have to commit another robbery.

Tsotsi, Butcher and Aap go to Pumla and John's house; when John returns from the hospital they follow him into the house and tie him up. Aap is assigned to watch John while Butcher ransacks the bedroom and David collects items from the baby’s room. When Aap goes to raid the fridge, John activates the alarm. In panic, Butcher attempts to kill John, but David kills Butcher and he and Aap escape in John’s car moments before the security company arrives.

Traumatized by Tsotsi's killing of Butcher and fearing that Tsotsi will one day hurt him too, Aap decides to leave the gang. When Tsotsi goes back to Miriam's house she reveals that she knows where he got the baby, and begs him to return the child to his parents.

Tsotsi sets off to return the baby. He reaches John’s house, tells John over the intercom that he will leave the child outside the gate. Meanwhile, an officer stationed at the house alerts Captain Smit, who rushes to the scene, arriving just as Tsotsi is about to walk away.

The police train their guns on Tsotsi, ordering him to return the baby. However, John urges them to lower their weapons so that he can retrieve the baby himself. Holding the baby in his arms, he is convinced by John to give up the baby. After this point there are three alternate endings to the film. In one version Tsotsi emotionally returns the baby to John, then is simply told to put up his hands and the film ends. In the two others the baby begins to cry after he's returned it to the parents and Tsotsi reaches for a bottle of milk in his pocket so as to feed the baby. A police officer thinks he's reaching for a weapon and then shoots him. One version ends with the gun shot killing him, the other with him dashing off, jumping a concrete wall, and running toward the township.


"Music from the Motion Picture" album

Infobox Album
Name = Tsotsi
Type = Soundtrack
Longtype =
Artist = Various Artists

Released = February 14, 2006
Recorded =
Genre = Rap
Length =
Label = Milan Entertainment
Producer = Emmanuel Chamboredon
Reviews =
Last album =
This album =
Next album =

# Zola - "Mdlwembe" [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uV3nFwUlkYM / "Mdlwembe" Music Video]
# Zola - "Bhambatha"
# Zola - "Zingu 7"
# Pitch Black Afro Feat Bravo - "Matofototo"
# Unathi - "Sghubu Sam"
# Mafikizolo - "Mnt'Omnyama"
# Zola - "Palesa"
# Zola - "Seven"
# Zola - "Ehlala Zola"
# Ishmael - "Crazy"
# Zola - "It is Your Life"
# Zola - "Woof Woof"
# M.Kilian/P.Hepker Feat Vusi Mahlasela - "Stolen Legs"
# M.Kilian/P.Hepker Feat Vusi Mahlasela - "On The Tracks"
# Vusi Mahlasela - "Silang Mabele"
# M.Kilian/P.Hepker Feat Vusi Mahlasela - "Bye Bye Baby"
# M.Kilian/P.Hepker Feat Vusi Mahlasela - "Baby Handover"
# M.Kilian/P.Hepker Feat Vusi Mahlasela - "E Sale Noka"
# Zola - "Ghetto Scandalous"

External links

* [http://www.tsotsi.com/ Official site]

* [http://www.channel4.com/more4/news/news-opinion-feature.jsp?id=180 Channel 4 interview with actor/kwaito star, Zola]
* [http://www.milanrecords.com/tsotsi/ Soundtrack at Milan Records]
* [http://www.annecarlini.com/ex_interviews.php?id=492 Interview with Tsotsi composers Paul Hepker and Mark Kilian]
* [http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/kssgorg/apj/issues/2006_issue/pdfs/Tsotsi.pdf Review by Markus Scheuermaier from Harvard University]

succession box
title=Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
before="The Sea Inside"
after="The Lives of Others"

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