n English in Africa - "When We Remembered Zion" : the Oscar, the Tsotsi, and the Contender
|Article Title||"When We Remembered Zion" : the Oscar, the Tsotsi, and the Contender|
|© Publisher:||Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA)|
|Journal||English in Africa|
|Publication Date||Oct 2011|
|Pages||113 - 129|
Tsotsi's surprise Oscar for best foreign language film at the 2006 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the resulting critical attention it brought to South African cinema prepared the stage for Ralph Ziman's Jerusalema (2008), a visual retake of Johannesburg outlaw culture that draws heavily on the complex imagery of Psalm 137 and recasts Hillbrow as the new fallen city on a hill. Reviews of Ziman's film in Variety, Screen Daily, and Sight & Sound were quick to link the two films, and like Gavin Hood's Tsotsi, Ziman's Jerusalema was nominated by the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa for a foreign language Oscar. Perhaps because it did not offer Western tastemakers as palatable a menu of South African forgiveness and reconciliation (or perhaps because it simply was not as good), Jerusalema not only did not bring Oscar's golden statue back to South Africa, but indeed did not make the cut of five foreign language finalists at the 2009 Academy Award ceremonies.
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