This study highlights that although South Africa’s Johannesburg is more urbane than any other city in Africa, yet the featuring of the neighboring sprawling and (in)famous Soweto slum makes the plot of the movie more plausible. Another instance which reinstates this sense of authenticity is the presentation of large construction pipes which serve as Tsotsi and his gang’s domicile. Otherwise, it would be out of order to speak of Tsotsi’s crime as taking place within Johannesburg.
This paper declares that the author also uses special effect filmmaking strategies to make the setting very plausible and congruent with the plot. Specifically, lightning techniques have been used to this effect. In instances where Tsotsi and his gang carry night raids, weak light is used, thereby making the audience believe that such criminal undertakings are nocturnal. Through the use of silhouettes, Tsotsi and his protégés are also densely shadowed, so that they are easily identified as malefactors. The failure to use proper lighting could have portrayed Tsotsi’s criminal exploits as taking place during daytime, and thereby painting Johannesburg as an insecure, crime-riddled city where crimes happen even during broad daylight. Lance Gewer and Gavin Hood as the director and cinematographer respectively showcase their dexterity and ingenuity in filmmaking by making the movie polyglot. The movie consists of languages such as English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu, and thereby rightly painting Johannesburg not only as a polyglot but also a cultural melting pot.