When a stoic gang leader in the slums of Johannesburg shoots a wealthy woman and steals her car, he finds himself unable to abandon the baby he finds in the back seat. Leaving the baby is unthinkable, yet returning it guarantees capture, and so begins the young hoodlum’s journey towards redemption, learning to mend his ways, asking for help instead of demanding it through threats of violence. The characters – particularly those of his gang members – are broadly drawn stereotypes – the smart one, the angry one, the fat one – but the acting is admirable from a non-professional cast, and there is little fresh ground uncovered as the standard comic misadventures occur when a man unprepared for parenthood finds himself in charge of a child; constructing a nappy from newspapers, dancing around to stop the baby from crying. The ending too seems botched, it would have been better for Tsotsi to have constructed his own destiny but this is certainly a great deal better than director Gavin Hood’s subsequent endeavour, the universally despised X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Choose life 5/10