Oscar Night: South Africans Hold Breath for Tsotsi


Tsotsi, the film version of Athol Fugard’s 1980 novel, directed by Gavin Hood, represents South Africa’s best hope of winning an Oscar tonight.

The American Academy of Motion Pictures has nominated Tsotsi in the “Best Foreign Language Film” category. It faces stiff competition from the likes of Hany Abu-Assad’s Paradise Now.

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Tsotsi – which means “gangster” in South African slang – follows the life and crimes of a young hoodlum in Soweto, Johannesburg. In an irony that only a few countries in the world are capable of producing, the film’s director of photography, Lance Gewer, was hijacked last week in Johannesburg, by a gang of tsotsis who had seen his film. They liked the film but still took his car.

  • South African film: specialising in gritty realism.
  • Apart from Tsotsi, South Africans will also be pulling for Charlize Theron, a best actress nominee for her role in North Country.
  • Watch the Oscars – the second-greatest moment for lowbrow culture in America (the greatest being the Super Bowl) – LIVE in South Africa. Coverage starts with the red carpet pre-show at 12h30 a.m., and the Oscars begin 2 1/2 hours later, at 3 a.m.: MNet