Discuss the Symbolism Gavin Hood Uses in Tsotsi.

Topics: Dice, Symbol, Father Pages: 2 (586 words) Published: September 6, 2011
In the movie Tsotsi directed by Gavin Hood there are many important symbols used throughout the film to convey and emphasize different ideas. The film is about a young man, Tsotsi, (which translates to Thug) who lives a life of crime in Johannesburg, South Africa. The film is set in post-apartheid South Africa and shows a few days which change the life of the main character. The film helps us to understand the struggles that blacks face today years after their mistreatment under apartheid. Symbols such as the dice, and locations like the waste land are used in this film to develop the ideas of luck and chance, hope and the journey towards redemption. The first symbol of dice is shown at the starting of the film as there is a close up on hands shaking dice to play a game of Craps. The game is being played in Tsotsi’s shack and it symbolizes that life is a game of chance to the people living in the slums. This also applies to Tsotsi’s life, which is a gamble in itself. Everything can and does change in a symbolic “roll of the dice”, as each action he makes is a gamble that he does not know the outcome of, i.e. when he steals the car with the baby in it. This stealing of the baby is another symbol of an example of a gamble where a simple act of grand theft auto turns to a kidnapping, however the baby is also a symbol of hope for Tsotsi and becomes his path to redemption by causing the feeling guilt for his actions. He also begins to learn to feel love for another human being, something he had forgotten how to do as a result of a traumatic childhood. The use of lighting is another important symbol used in the film as it is used to show hope and goodness. The clothing that Tsotsi wears is a black jacket ans his appearance is shown as dark and aggressive. Also all his criminal activities that are shown crimes usually seem to take place under cover of darkness. When Tsotsi follows a woman with a baby home in his township, he lurks in the shadows. However once...
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