Otelo Burning (2011)

Otelo Burning
Jafta Mamabolo Thomas Gumede Sihle Xaba Tshepang Mohlomi
IDMB rating
7.2 (61 votes)
Netflix rating
Release date
March 25, 2014 (Netflix)

When 16 year old Otelo Buthelezi, his best friend, New Year, and his 12 year old brother, Ntwe, are invited to the beach-house of their new friend, Tau Modise, they step into a world previously closed to them. It is exactly the opposite of their township- a place under a constant and growing threat from political violence, driven by Inkatha hostel dwellers on one side and township United Democratic Front comrades on the other. Soon, everyone recognizes that Otelo is gifted on the water, a god in waiting for his purpose. An older white man, Kurt Struely, approaches the boys, certain of their potential and invites them to his home to watch some professional surfers on video. He paints them an enticing picture of the life to be had, if they can master every kind of break - money for nothing and the chicks for free. The boys practice and, under Struely's watchful eye, become really good. Otelo outshines his teacher, Tau, who begins to resent the obvious natural talent of his friend. His resentment builds even more when Dezi, New Year's younger sister, falls for Otelo. When Struely enters the boys into their first 'localism' competition, Tau persuades his cousin, Stembiso, to look after Ntwe at the township pool where the boys learnt to swim. But while the boys are carving out new paradigms on the water, Tau breaks his prized surfing board and Ntwe is burnt to death with a tire necklace as a suspected informer for the apartheid security police. When Otelo, with New Year's help, discovers the truth behind his younger brother's death, he has to make a choice between the money, glamour, girls and superstardom of international surfdom and justice for Ntwe. On the day Nelson Mandela steps out of prison for the first time in 27 years, what this boy chooses will resonate for audiences everywhere. He whisks her off and they spend a day of pure joy and freedom. For a moment, Anna forgets her predicament. But there is one problem. He does not have a South African passport. Now Anna must choose: between marrying for the sake of personal freedom, or loving even if it means having to leave.

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Yes! Otelo Burning (2011) is available on Netflix since Tuesday 25 March 2014.

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