Combustible Celluloid
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With: Tim Robbins, Derek Luke, Bonnie Henna, Mncedisi Shabangu, Tumisho K. Masha, Sithembiso Khumalo, Terry Pheto, Michelle Burgers, Mpho Lovinga, Mxo
Written by: Shawn Slovo
Directed by: Phillip Noyce
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material involving torture and abuse, violence and brief language
Language: Afrikaans, Zulu, English, with English subtitles
Running Time: 101
Date: 09/02/2006

Catch a Fire (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Terror Alert

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Four years ago, Australian filmmaker Philip Noyce gave up brain-dead thrillers like The Bone Collector and re-invented himself as an effective political raconteur with Rabbit-Proof Fence and The Quiet American. His newest work, based on a true story, takes on apartheid in 1980 South Africa. Patrick Chamusso (Derek Luke) is wrongly accused of terrorism and arrested. After his ordeal he decides to stand up to his oppressors, ironically, by becoming a terrorist. Tim Robbins, with an accent, plays the morally ambiguous interrogator (similar to Kenneth Branagh's character in Rabbit-Proof Fence). The thriller-like script by Shawn Slovo (Captain Corelli's Mandolin) lets the story's seams show; it's a bit too neatly constructed, but Noyce's skills are sharp as ever. Catch a Fire

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