Gangster Films

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Thiru NApril 29, 20143min70

On its opening weekend, the South African thriller ‘iNumber Number’ at #7 on the industry’s top ten, along with blockbusters like ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’, ‘3 Days to Kill’, and ‘The Colony’.

The film has earned 19% more than the popular 2008 gangster movie ‘Jerusalema’, and has this far earned 4% more than the 2011 heist movie ‘How to Steal 2 Million’. It has also earned 81% of the box office takings raked in by Oscar winner ‘Tsotsi’ on its opening weekend in 2005.

“We are all excited to see that local audiences are embracing the film,” says director Donovan Marsh.

“This is an excellent achievement for a film on its opening weekend,” adds Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution, which is distributing the film in South Africa. “It’s an indication of the quality of the film and the outstanding performances of the actors. ‘iNumber Number’ is a high-energy crowd pleaser, and audiences are loving it.”

An action-packed movie, ‘iNumber Number’ isabout a pair of cops battling corrupt colleagues as well as a gang of armoured-car thieves. Chili (S’dumo Mtshali, winner of ‘Class Act’ in 2010),and Shoes (Presley Chweneyagae of ‘Tsotsi’ and ‘State of Violence’ fame) have been partners in the police force for eight years. After they make a risky arrest, their corrupt superior refuses to give them the reward they are due.Enraged, Chili realises that honesty does not pay and sets about infiltrating a gang of armoured car thieves. The film boasts an oddball cast that brings comic relief to the ruthless thuggery.

‘iNumber Number’ is South African director Donovan Marsh’s fourth film. An award-winning director, writer and editor,Marsh has worked in the local film industry since 1992. He wrote and directed the feature films ‘Dollars and White Pipes’, ‘Spud’ and ‘Spud 2: The Madness Continues’.

The film had its world premiere at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival in September 2013. It was produced by Marsh, Quizzical Pictures’ Harriet Gavshon, JP Potgieter and Mariki van der Walt.

Official Trailer | Director’s Interview


Thiru NApril 17, 20143min63

“Share your experience and journey with us on taking iNumber Number from creation to it’s manifestation on screen…”

“From a writer’s perspective who’s not typically associated with ‘gangsters’ and have not experienced that culture first hand, nor are you ‘black’. We know you took inspiration from Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and made it your own in terms of a South African action cultural piece… Where you anxious at all, where you nervous about doing it right?”

“You mentioned Israel Makoe is a real life (ex) gangster; he played a big part in the iNumber Number film – What was it like working with him?”

“There are lots of villains in this film, making iNumber Number pretty enticing. I mean we don’t know whether to like the characters or throw stones at them – this moral dilemma is what makes for a really great film. Having the audience question their own morals and integrity is something many South African’s and people in general, from around the world, encounter, please elaborate…”

Thank you Donovan Marsh for being part of Africa’s 1st Film Blog




Thiru NApril 14, 20142min112

Tsotsitaal is a word of two languages, tsotsi – a Sesotho slang word which directly translates to “thug” and/or “robber” and taal – an Afrikaans word meaning “language”. Tsotsitaal is made up of a variety of languages spoken in the surrounding townships of Johannesburg City and Soweto, the South Western Township of South Africa.

Here’s a movie about crime, directed by Gavin Hood, starring Presley Chweneyage titled Tsotsi. This movie pretty much sums up a tsotsi and the language. It will also give you a visual indication of a South African Gauteng township thug.

Another South African crime movie, which will help you understand a ‘high income’ Tsotsi is Ralph Ziman’s  2008 Gangsters Paradise: Jeruselema is inspired by a true story, it stars Rapulana Seiphemo and Robert Hobbs among other South Afrcian A-list actors.

Tsotsitaal is an ever-evolving language created by hoodlums of lowerclass South Afrcian society who constructed the language on several Native African languages as to hide meaning from the common man. Tsotsitaal is predominantly spoken in South Africa’s Gauteng province.

Yet another movie to showcase Tsotsitaal is The Forgotten Kingdom.


Click to learn the language


Thiru NMarch 23, 20143min6

How many South African gangster films have you seen? How many? That’s right – 2005 Tsotsi, yes, it depicted a specific culture of South Africa, but was it a true gangster film? Dollars and White Pipes, as cool as it was, really don’t count! American gangster film, Blood-in-Blood-Out was not about the numbers, nor was it homegrown, but I can safely say because of its story line and cultural identity was, and still is a cult classic here in South Africa for many kids of the 90’s.

The closest thing South Africa got to a real gangster before Four Corners was Rapulana Seiphemo in the 2008 Feature Film, Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema and yes it rhymes with Julius Malema.

Four corners on the other hand is fresh and is about Cape Town gang culture – A 28-gang member (Brendan Daniels) determined to take back his own and a 26-gang member (Irshaad Ally) who doesn’t follow the rules. Read more here… Four Corners Film Review Share this post… Like and comment on our FB page Africas1st Film Blog to stand a chance to win an official autographed poster.  


Director Ian Gabriel and real life 28 Member
Director Ian Gabriel and real life 28-gang member