Tsotsi is a good, but not great, film. I believe if it were an American-made independent, it wouldn’t be nearly as acclaimed. It seems to me like its overwhelming welcome in the U.S. is partially driven by the fact that it’s a film from a region of the world from which we don’t often get to see people telling their own stories. (They tell them; we just don’t listen.) The dialogue is sparse yet acute, and the cinematography is rich; however, I didn’t feel all that I wanted from some of the supporting characters. The film reminded me of the flurry of early-90s Boyz-in-the-Hood flicks, in which a young tough seeks or is led to some sort of redemption or point of no return. While I could swallow where the story went, I just wasn’t sucked in all the way. I wanted more of of the heart of S. Africa, not just an image of a township juxtaposed against the twinkling lights of Jo’burg. The speeches of the character named Boston were in the vein of what I wanted, but I wanted to know some of the other characters a little deeper even if they weren’t the crux of the story. Overall, the film just wasn’t meaty enough in its stage-theatre like simplicity. The DVD includes a short, 20-min. film by director Gavin Hood entitled The Storekeeper; it’s worth watching but be forewarned that the outcome is pretty harsh. It took the wind out of my happiness sails.