Bringing Everyone Else Down

tsotsiTsotsi was a very alarming film. From one of the first opening scenes, to the last, it was a whirlwind of emotions. We know from the beginning that some people in the township are not educated as one of the gentleman couldn’t add up the dice. Also, this was specifically demonstrated when “Teacher Boy” asked the members if they knew what the term “decency” meant. The scene that made him question decency was very brutal.

The young gentlemen watched a man closely at the subway station and watched his moves in preparation to jump him. As they blockaded him on the train, they quickly stole his money and stabbed him in the gut. The expression on their young faces were shock, confusion, and disgust, as if they were questioning what it was they were doing. For this to occur on public transportation, it gave me a very uneasy feeling. There are so many people that use public transportation that it could have potentially been any innocent individual. Although bystanders did not notice the stabbing occur, if a group of men came and circled around me while on an enclosed subway car, I would become very frantic and nervous. This would not be a situation I could simply “walk away from” because obviously there is nowhere to walk to in such a crowded space. I felt truly scarred by this scene as an old man was on his way home with a recent purchase for perhaps his wife or something. He carried himself with a jolly smile and expressed a kind hearted attitude as he interacted with the young saleswoman. As mentioned previously, I do not think that the young gentlemen all felt the same about the incidence. Their facial expressions were all different and did not justify that they were cruel humans.

Thus, being a psychology major, it made me begin to analyze their behaviors. Perhaps theretsotsi was something that triggered this intense emotion that we began to find out throughout the film. Tsotsi grew up with a mother who was ill with AIDS and a fierce/abusive father. Although the movie did not state that his mother had AIDS, it seemed pretty evident after watching Yesterday. This probably triggered him to become impulsive as he ran away at a young age and would have to fend for himself. It is evident through Tsotsi’s flashbacks that his father treated him poorly, and he had no escape as his mother was ill. It seemed as though Tostsi had no shame as he was willing to shoot at a woman, and for what reason?

tsotsiDespite Tsotsi’s rough childhood, I believed his attitude turned around as he began raising the child. He reluctantly took the child from the stolen car and took him home. Although he shot the mother, and stole her car, I was at least happy he took the child out of the car for I believed caring was not something he was capable of doing. Eventually, Tsotsi began finding proper care for this child with the help of a neighboring widow. His mood slowly began changing which made me think that this child had an effect on his life. He cared for the baby and stopped doing his usual tasks that involved killing people. When robbing the baby’s house, instead of stealing wealthy objects, Tsotsi escaped to the baby’s bedroom and took with him stuffed animals and milk supplements. This surprised me at first, but also made me feel happier that he was beginning to change. It seemed as though he wanted this child to have a proper upbringing and not like the one he had.

Tsotsi realized he needed to return the baby to the rightful family for he could not provide what it deserved and needed. As the ending scene draws out the return, it demonstrated that he had became attached to the child and it was the only thing he had left. As he turned in the child, he turned in himself.

Overall, I was glad to see that Tsotsi would be locked away as he would no longer inflict harm upon people’s lives. Additionally, he returned the baby to parents who loved him which also made me happy. This made me realize that bad can happen all over the world especially in an instant. However, it does not mean that you cannot change your fate. Tsotsi had educated friends and I think by being educated it could have lined him up for a better future by giving him plans to execute. Instead, he caused havoc and was up to no good. I am grateful to have happy people who care about me in my life as well as for the safe environments in which I live for it can evidently help change anyone’s future.


2 Comments on “Bringing Everyone Else Down

  1. I was very intrigued by Lauren’s analysis of Tsotsi and how she looked at it through a psychology major’s point of view. I had never thought about the underlying causes for the boy’s behaviors. I wonder how much of an impact watching a parent die of AIDS had on Tsotsi. Lauren talks about how Tsotsi took food for the baby instead of taking the objects of greatest worth. Although it is awful that Tsotsi took the baby he didn’t care about objects he could get money from he just wanted to take care of the baby.

  2. I think that Lauren’s interpretation of Tsotsi was interesting because it was different than my own, but I agreed with her on a lot of her points. I felt that this change was beneficial to Tsotsi, because he became a better person through caring for another one. I hadn’t thought about how beneficial it would be for the public as well, until after I read lauren’s post. As Kristyn mentioned, I also liked how she tied in her major to the movie. I think that psychologically Tsotsi was very damaged, which is why he did not have any decency or shame for most of the movie.

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