DVD Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema (DVD 6975336),
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Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema

  • R
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • An uneducated gas station attendant with a taste for the finer things in life turns to crime as a means of making ends meet, only to find himself on a dangerous collision course with the biggest drug dealer in town. All Lucky Kunene wanted out of life was a house by the water, a beautiful wife, and a 7-series BMW. Unfortunately, Lucky hails from a poor Soweto family, and his application for a university grant has just been refused. Dejected at the thought of spending the rest of his life pumping gas, Lucky teams up with his best friend, Zakes, to start stealing cars. At first the endeavor proves remarkably lucrative -- providing Lucky with enough cash to purchase a refrigerator, a nice suit, a classy wardrobe, and a hi-fi stereo system -- but before long the two thieves realize that their profile is becoming dangerously high, and that in order to avoid arrest they will have to relocate. Five years after moving to Hillbrow, Lucky and Zakes are the operators of a deadbeat taxi service. Their criminal lifestyle has gotten them nowhere, and rival taxi gang members are literally gunning for them night and day. Lucky shares a cramped apartment with 20 other people, mostly junkies, prostitutes, and immigrants with nowhere else to go. Though their existence seems bleak, the group manages to pool their resources and form the Hillbrow People's Housing Trust. But just as Lucky enters into the world of real estate, local detective Blackie Swart makes it his mission to capture the so-called "Hoodlum of Hillbrow" and Nigerian drug kingpin Tony Ngu lays claim to the city. With two of the city's most notorious criminals both preparing for the ultimate showdown, Detective Swart will have to work overtime in order to prevent the streets from becoming a virtual war zone.
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  • Credits
    Rapulana Seiphemo, Ronnie Nyakale, Malusi Skenjana, Shelly Meskin, Jeffrey Sekele
  • Critic Reviews
    "[A] South African crime epic with plenty of vigor, violence and vengeance....It's a fresh idea, with a time-and-place-specific pungency..."
    Los Angeles Times

    "[N]imble and electrifying....The results are startlingly original..."
    Wall Street Journal

    "[T]he film doubles as a history of crime in post-apartheid South Africa....The grainy, often handheld cinematography suits the material well, with Soweto and Hillbrow each given their own vibrant character..."
    Sight and Sound

    3 stars out of 5 -- "The early scenes have the restless energy of Fernando Meirelles' CITY OF GOD..."
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