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Catch a Fire (2006)

Catch a Fire. Feature film. (2006, 101 mins) IMDB

...I don't think I'll ever understand the violence in South Africa...

T

his is not the movie I thought it was going to be. Not your typical Hollywood film. Apartheid. Blacks v. Whites. Torture. Struggles. Hard to image it existed, but I don't doubt it.

Reminds of A DRY WHITE SEASON. Different, but very similar, yet the SEASON was a much better film.

One difference: we don't see the whites living cosy lives, we see it from the blacks perspective with the whites as the Nazis.

The film could be called: how to become a terrorist because at the start of the film Patrick is the exact opposite of a terrorist.

He's married with two daughters. We works as a boss in an important oil refinery in the country. He keeps his nose clean and stays away from the political troubles in his country. But that's not enough.

The ANC bombs the plant where he works and the whites suspect it's him. It wasn't him. He was away coaching his soccer team with a side jaunt to visit his one-time girlfriend who is also the mother of one of his children. No one knows except the two involved.

When he returns, he's captured and accused of terrorism. They'd hang him right away except they want information from him--information he can't provide because he's innocent. They torture him until he confesses except it's clear he's confessing to something he didn't do.

His wife is captured and tortured to make matters worse.

When they are released, the government follows him and he decides to become part of the ANC.

He travels to Mozambique where he trains to be a terrorist. There's an assault on the training facility but our hero survives. There's an interesting image where white soldiers pant their skin black for a sneak attack. There was close-up of one soldier--bright green eyes and completely black face.

He's on a mission. To plant bombs in the plant where he once worked and he does.

It's the ending that doesn't work at all. Muddled. Predictable and so on.

They jump forward to him being released from prison many years later when white rule is over turned. Mendela takes over.

I don't think it was a movie worth making. We've seen it before and the ending didn't work. Not that the ending was wrong, but how we got there was wrong.

I liked the wife: Precious.

I was also impressed by Tim Robbins accent. If I hadn't seen him before, I would have thought he was Dutch or South Africa. Very impressive.

Posted 2009/04/26 at 22h19ET in Movie Commentary.

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