|A REASONABLE MAN (director/writer: Gavin Hood; cinematographer: Buster Reynolds; editor: Avril Beukes; music: Neill Solomon; cast: Gavin Hood (Sean Raine), Nigel Hawthorne (Judge), Janine Eser (Jennifer), Loyiso Gxwala t (Sipho), Vusi Kunene (Prosecutor Linde), Ken Gampu (Headman); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Paul Raleigh/Gavin Hood; Pandora Film; 1999-South Africa/France)|
|"A quality thinking man's courtroom drama."
by Dennis Schwartz
quality thinking man's courtroom drama that
questions our judgments over true faith and the
Western definition for "a reasonable man." It's
inspired by a true story in 1933. The drama marks
the directorial debut for the talented South African
writer-director -star Gavin Hood ("Tsotsi"/"Ender's
Game"/"Eye in the Sky").
Hood plays a white South African city corporate
lawyer, on vacation to a Zulu national park with his
photographer girlfriend (Janine Eser).
He ends up while there defending an 18-year-old
black herd boy (Loyiso Gxwala)
from the rural Zululand, who has killed a
one year old baby in the mistaken belief that he was
killing an evil spirit--known throughout Southern
Africa as the "Tikoloshe." The strange case leads us
to enter the world of African magic to discover in
the courtroom what the killing really signifies, as
it attempts to make sense of Zulu superstitions in a
capital punishment case.
courtroom action brings to our attention such a
unique murder alibi, even if it never quite clears
up how witchcraft should be treated in a
modern multicultural society.
Kunene plays the
prosecutor, who charges the herd boy of taking a
hatchet to the child to sell his body parts. Nigel
Hawthorne plays the by-the-book judge, who
runs an orderly and fair courtroom. While Hood
defends his frightened client by stating how his
primitive religious beliefs enticed him to kill.
REVIEWED ON 3/12/2016 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ