Web Exclusive: Catch a Fire

    Set in the heart of the South African apartheid, “Catch a Fire,” under the direction of Phillip Noyce, delivers the eye-opening story of real-life hero Patrick Chamusso’s struggle for freedom from false imprisonment and oppression when he is accused of sabotaging the Secunda oil refinery, where he works. For a movie depicting the sickening brutality of racism and the fight against terrorism, however, the film sure has a peppy soundtrack; it’s difficult not to get distracted when popular reggae jams like “Could You Be Loved” permeate the scenes. Come on, who can’t feel a little Bob Marley?

    Lead actors Derek Luke (“Antwone Fisher,” 2002) and Academy Award-winner Tim Robbins light up the screen in a relevant movie about bravery in the face of adversity. The detailed depiction of Chamusso’s torture by the security branch of the South African police and exposure of their so-called “anti-terrorist” practices is a reality-checking slap in the face. As if drowning, handcuffing and beating aren’t graphic enough, the audience also witnesses the ugliness of blackmail and public humiliation. After all, fighting terrorism with terrorism makes sense — right?

    Noyce focuses his movie on the often-blurry distinction between freedom fighters and terrorists. By telling the story of the struggle for freedom during the apartheid from a South African perspective, the film offers the unique opportunity to view this important time period in history through the eyes of the people who fought through it, and without sounding too politically preachy. While sensitively illustrating the unbreakable spirit of the South African people, “Catch a Fire” presents an inspirational true story about morality and valor in times of tribulation.

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