My two favorite turns of history, over the last twenty-five years, were the fall of the
Catch a Fire, the new film from director Phillip Noyce which opened last weekend, tells the true story of Patrick Chamusso (Derek Luke). Born in poverty in
As the movie opens the Chamusso family is attending a wedding in a rural village. On the drive home they are stopped at a roadblock and Patrick becomes a suspected terrorist tied to an explosion at the oil refinery at which he works. Shortly thereafter he is arrested and tortured by Nic Vos (Tim Robbins) a Colonel in the Police Security Branch. Desperate to protect his family, he unsuccessfully seeks to shield his family with a compromised alibi.
When he is finally released he barely returns home before he leaves for Mozambique to join the ANC resistance, forced by his mistreatment to side with his fellow countrymen who are committed to ending the oppression of the black majority by the white minority.
The script was written by screenwriter Shawn Slovo, one of the daughter’s of the late Joe Slovo, the former head of the ANC’s military wing and one of the most prominent white anti-apartheid activists, and later cabinet member in Nelson Mandela’s first government. He gave her the idea of this movie in the late 80’s. Shawn’s sister, Robyn, is one of the producers. Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack add celebrity to the production team.
The critics at Rotten Tomatoes generally acclaim the film giving it an 80% favorable rating….that means that 73 of the 93 critics who have reviewed it approved. Go see this movie and appreciate better the struggle that South African’s endured and that created today’s dynamic leader of
Afterward, you’ll find this comprehensive Seattle Times-Intelligencer story will answer all your questions: such as, (1) How was Derek Luke affected by playing this real life, living national hero? (2) Tell me more about Shawn Slovo? (3) Is the movie story true to history? ENJOY and LEARN!
Even after having satisfied my dream of visiting South Africa in 2002, I still thirst for a better understanding of how the horrors of life under apartheid could have been been happening while I was in school and starting a family. I also marvel at, how like with the
Thanks dad for your welcomed addition to my blog. As we were talking about Catch a Fire last night I was really excited you had seen it and looking forward to seeing it as well. As far as I know it is not yet here in