The Boys of Baraka Movie vs. Tsosi
The Boys of Baraka movie, by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, is set up at the Baltimore state of the U.S. where more than half the percentage of African American boys drops out of school before graduation. Most of the students engage in crime, which leads to either imprisonment or death. Eventually, these boys are left with only three options, which are to get jailed, get killed or graduate. Fortunately, a Baraka school recruiter visits their institution and offers to give sponsorship to three students. Baraka school is an institution that is sponsored by the British and set up in Kenya, a third world country. The parents who had already despaired are happy about the idea of students going to study in Kenya and highly encourage them to apply. They believe that it is better for students to face a hard time in the third world country than to perish in crime. The two brothers apply for the sponsorship and are optimistic about their selection to join the Kenyan school. On the other hand, the Tsotsi movie is set in Soweto, a town in the suburbs of Johannesburg where the government has built some little settlement houses. The settlement is surrounded by Soweto suburbs, which is an informal settlement filled with poverty and despair. The paper discusses both the Boys of Baraka and Tsosi and analyzes behaviors portrayed in both movies and their contribution to the boys’ development. It holds that the dark past of characters does not dictate what they turn out to become later in their lives.
The movie Boys of Baraka persuades the African American boys to work hard toward graduation and not to fall into crime. The young boys, after getting a sponsorship, relocate to Kenya, which has poorer living conditions compared to their state Baltimore home. However, they are determined to live a different life and make a positive impact on their lifestyles. It is amazing how the young boys turn out to become powerful men by tapping on their potentials and working hard in their studies. As portrayed in the movie, the lads in the Boys of Baraka initially had a bad attitude toward the education system and life in general. On moving to the institution in Kenya, they are subjected to different living conditions, which change their mentality and enable them to have a better focus on the issues that have a positive impact on their lives. The young men knew that they had potential in themselves, which the new institution helps them to unleash and focus on their strengths. It is unbelievable how fast the boys can change their attitudes and adopt instant positive reinforcement from the system. They learn gradually how to be competitive, by putting in more efforts on improving their grades and their general conduct in the institution. All these are aimed at pleasing their tutors who show high hopes for them and themselves. A new perspective of the future is developed in the boy’s minds, which compel them to work hard hoping to live a better life. Back in Baltimore, the boy’s parents and guardians are engaged in crime and drug use. The situation back home increases their hunger for knowledge. Often, they fantasize about the future, especially about their future careers as doctors, engineers, and architects. Such thoughts divert their mindsets from a life of crime and drug use, which they were used to back in Baltimore. Eventually, it is evident that the boys, as depicted in the movie, portray grace and dignity.
Tsotsi is the name given to a baby after it is born by its mother. The baby is, however, referred as David in the film. He grows up in a natural environment like other boys born in his time. However, experiences young David faces are portrayed through the use of a different character, Tsotsi. From the film, the boy is heartbroken by his father after he leaves his mother to die without him even going to see her in the hospital or touching her. Tsotsi is subjected to a lot of mistreatment both physical and psychological under the care of his father. Things take a new turn after his only father physically assaults by him to the extent of breaking his back, and this makes him decide to run away from home and start a new life. This coincides with the act of David, who also runs away from home. At this point, it becomes evident that David and Tsotsi is the same person.
Through the character David, one sees a reflection on the love, loss, and physical yearning the character has for his mother who had died of AIDs after his birth. The issue that hurts the character most is the fact that his father could not go near his mother or let him see her before her demise. Such an event can be attributed to the lack of knowledge regarding AIDs at the time, ignorance, and fear of the killer disease. The issue on the disease gives a link to what many children go through after their parents die of the disease. For instance, David is mistreated and subjected to unbearable living conditions by his father. Normally a father is expected to be the head of the family and to assure good living conditions for the family members; this is not what David gets after his mother passes on.
David, as a baby, is treated in a way that a mother would not treat her child. As portrayed in the movie, he is placed at the edge of the table when changing diapers, which is practically dangerous. The child, however, grows under the care of Miriam, who was given the task of taking care of him. Some of the conditions that David grows in, including the house and his caretakers, are not fit for any child.
Tsotsi in a native word meaning a thug. The conditions on which the baby David grows force him to have a negative attitude toward life. He later becomes a criminal who acts solely on emotions related to his past experiences including the beating he gets in Boston and multiple mistreatments by his father. In the end, the character overcomes all evils and takes a different path in his life. The relation with his partner comes to an end, and he even kills him as he tries to kill the baby, David’s father.
The characters portrayed in both movies go through similar conditions in their early stages. The Boys of Baraka are engulfed in crime before they are rescued by the scholarship, which takes them to an institution in Kenya. David, in the Tsotsi movie, also grows up to become a criminal who later changes to become a morally upright person in his society. For these reasons, it is true that the dark past of characters does not dictate what they turn out to become later in their lives.
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