Archive for the ‘phillip noyce’ Category

Catch a Fire (2006)

February 21, 2007
Attempting to depict the oppression and the turmoil endured in South Africa during the 1980s, Catch a Fire illustrates the unfair treatment that blacks faced during apartheid.

This film tells the true narrative of Patrick Chamusso, a black South African man who led a simple life with his wife and two daughters. Careful to never challenge the “bosses” (police), he repeatedly kept his head down when enduring humiliation. But, when he is charged and tortured for a crime he did not commit, and sees his battered wife after the police beat her, Patrick is pushed over the edge. As he turns towards violence and joins the rebel organization ANC, it is difficult to not empathize with his actions. Ironically, the government seems to have turned him into their enemy. The very acts they were punishing an innocent man for are the acts he now performs.

This film encourages critical thought about South African apartheid while also offering hope because this apartheid of injustice was eventually resolved in peace. Considering the violence that occurred in South Africa, the film makers carefully keep the movie from being gory, although in an attempt to accurately portray the story, it contains scenes of torture and killings. This film never appears overdone and fake, and is successful in connecting the main character in the movie to the real Patrick Chamusso.

The film has definite improvements it could make in plot development, detail, and emotion. It resembles a weakly made movie that was a slight upgrade from a documentary, though it is possible that this was an intentional effort. Certainly not a movie to relax to, this does not disregard the fact that this film brings up crucial issues regarding violence and peace worthy of consideration.