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Mapantsula 15 rating

Panic, a petty gangster, is caught up in Township riots in this cult classic crime drama, the first anti-Apartheid film shot guerilla style on the streets of Soweto.

Crime 1989 104 mins

Director: Oliver Schmitz



During demonstrations in apartheid-era South Africa, police arrest not only activists but also Panic, a “mapantsula” or petty gangster. While a cop tries to get him to make incriminating statements, we learn in flashbacks how Panic got caught up in the township riots. Oliver Schmitz' long-elusive cult classic is one of the most important films to ever be produced and exported out of Africa. The first true anti-apartheid picture, it was produced guerilla-style with a dose of deception and evading government authorities, and was subsequently banned by the Apartheid regime soon after release. After screening in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival it was exhibited in countries around the globe to massive critical acclaim, only to fall out of distribution, but is now available again in this transformational new 4k restoration.