By Stacey and Dean
Trying to escape
Escapism is evident in all 4 films that we have studied. Each film uses different characters
in order to highlight the desire to escape their situation of dire poverty:
City of God: Benny tries to escape with Angelica. His desire to escape the City of God is due
to his love for Angelica.
Amores Perros: Similarly, Octavio has a large desire to escape the slums with Suzanna. His
rise in status, and rise in wealth leads him to try to instigate an escape with the woman
who he loves, which is similar to City of God.
La Haine: Huburt tries to escape the Zup in which he finds himself by setting up a Gym. His
desire to leave the Zup leads him to set up his own establishment, rather than seek respect
live Vinz. However, the fact that Huburt’s Gym is destroyed by the culture in which he is
forced to live prevents him from escaping.
Tsotsi: By going on a moral journey, and by attempting to do good of his wrong by taking
back the baby that he unintentionally stole shows how Tsotsi goes on a moral journey of
All films hence show how characters within the film attempt to escape the situations that
they are in. However, due the circumstances that happen along the way, none of the
characters achieve their escape. This may suggest that escapism from slums and poverty is
an impossible task, as it a life of poverty will eventually consume you.
When looking at ethnicity the main film that stands out is La Haine. One key
point to consider is the fact that the film is based on an 18 year old black
youth being shot during interrogation by the police in 1992. it also shows
that different types of ethnicity can be brought together within a
community as there are three different ethnics within the group of friends
from the zups.
The story of city of god follows two generations of the short-lived hoodlum
street children. The beginning first shows the comparatively “amateur”
Tender Trio, who spawn the profoundly sociopathic Li'l Zé who then spawns
“the runts”. All the many characters in City of God live in a cycle of violence
and dog-eat-dog survival. It’s important to note that not all the characters
directly participate in this, and many aspire to leave the ghetto, (rocket) but
no one is untouched by it’s reality.
Rocket’s need to escape the harsh surroundings of where he lives can be
linked to Bene from the same film. It can also be associated with Octavio
from Amores Perros as he desperately tries to persuade Suzanna to leave
with him.
This escapism is also evident in Tsotsi, as he develops a sense of
responsibility when he has to take care of the child. He attempts to seek
redemption for his negative actions by giving back the child to him back to
his parents. Tsotsi’s redemption is also echoed when he Bully’s the old man
at the beginning, and gives him money at the end. This shows that Tsotsi’s
emotional journey leads him to become a better person, rather than the
ruthless thug that he once was.
Tolerance of Crime
In all but one of the films we have studied (la Haine) when looking at the
crime within the streets, everyone seems to turn a blind eye to violence and
gang culture.
In Tsotsi he is neither the worst of his posse nor the best, possessing neither
the sadistic brutality of Butcher nor the uneasy residual humanity of Boston.
Still, he is the gang’s natural leader, because of his apparent willingness to
tolerate Butcher’s excesses and ignore Boston’s misgivings implicates