December 23, 2005 0 By Fans
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

TsotsiTsotsiKyle Massey at event of TsotsiTsotsiTsotsiTsotsi


Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang leader (Chweneyagae).

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 7.3/10 (16,189 voted)

Critic's Score: 70/100

Gavin Hood

Stars: Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano, Israel Makoe

In Johannesburg, a small time criminal, Tsotsi, is a teenager without feelings, hardened by his tough life. After a series of violent gang hits, Tsotsi hijacks a car. However, whilst driving, Tsotsi finds that there is a baby on the back seat. He brings the baby to his house in the slum. The next six days bring about a change in him that couldn't be foreseen.

Writers: Gavin Hood, Athol Fugard


Presley Chweneyagae

David 'Tsotsi'

Terry Pheto


Kenneth Nkosi


Mothusi Magano


Zenzo Ngqobe




Rapulana Seiphemo

John Dube

Nambitha Mpumlwana

Pumla Dube

Jerry Mofokeng


Ian Roberts

Captain Smit

Percy Matsemela

Sergeant Zuma

Thembi Nyandeni


Owen Sejake

Gumboot Dlamini

Israel Makoe

David's father

Sindi Khambule

David's mother

In this world… redemption just comes once.


Official Website:
MK2 [France] |
Official site |

Release Date: 23 December 2005

Filming Locations: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Box Office Details

Budget: $3,000,000


Opening Weekend: $76,324
(26 February 2006)
(6 Screens)

Gross: $2,912,363
(9 July 2006)

Technical Specs


(Toronto International Film Festival)

Did You Know?


In urban slang of Johannesburg "tsotsi" loosely translated means "thug".


Crew or equipment visible:
When Tsotsi enters the room of the kidnapped child, you can see (on the right hand side) that the wall paper is false.


[after hearing a defining moment in Tsotsi/David's childhood]
What kind of bastard would break a dog's back?

User Review

Powerful Cinema

Rating: 8/10

There is a tendency for South African cinema (such as it is) to want to
see itself through the eyes of the world. Hence the many comments such
as "this film could be set in LA" (ie: it's almost as good as an
American movie) As a result, most cinema from South Africa is often
very limited in its artistic ambitions and storytelling usually takes
second place to making sure South Africa "looks good" on the screen so
that "people overseas" will see "our beautiful country" The Australians
used to call this the cultural cringe and it also took them some time
to find their voice.

Tstosti is a wonderfully told piece of cinema set in the distinctive
word of black Johannesburg criminals (I say black, because there is a
very different world for white criminals)It works because underneath
all the bells and whistles of great camera angles, phenomenal acting
and- yes- its unique setting lies something much, much more important:
A strong, strong story. A story about things that every human on earth
can identify with (love and death). This is not a film for "people
overseas"- it's a film in which South Africans to see and hear
themselves as real people and not as feeble caricatures gleaned from
countless Hollywood movies.

It might well be the start of a something great.