Gangster's Paradise - Jerusalema (15)
- Consumer Advice: Contains strong language, violence, injury detail and hard drug use
- Run time: 1 hour 59 mins
- Language: Afrikaans
- Genre: Crime
- Release date: 9th July 2010
- Starring: Rapulana Seiphemo, Jeffrey Sekele, Ronnie Nyakale
- Directed by: Ralph Ziman
- Official Website: www.jerusalemamovie.com
- Distributor: Anchor Bay
"If you're going to steal...Steal big, and hope like hell you get away with it!"
The tale of a self-made Sowetan entrepreneur climbing the Hillbrow criminal underworld ladder one rung at a time.
All LUCKY KUNENE ever wanted was a BMW seven series and a house with a sea view. But born into a poor family in Soweto in the dying years of Apartheid, the odds were stacked against him. However, working a menial, dead end job, was never an option for this ambitious, talented and impatient young man.
You see, to Lucky Kunene and many of his generation, battling the police is a badge of honour, and doing time in jail is an everyday reality.
It is not until he falls under the spell of NAZARETH MBOLELO, a Russian trained, ex ANC soldier, with a vendetta against the old regime, that Kunene and his best friend ZAKES, are plucked from the nursery slopes of crime, and roped into armed robbery.
Carjacking, or “affirmative repossession” as it is euphemistically called, gives him a glimpse at a brighter world. A Datsun pick up truck gets him a suit. A Toyota lands him a new fridge. A Mazda equals a new wardrobe. A Mercedes scores him a new hi-fi, a VCR and a new sofa. From there it's a roller coaster ride into cash-in-transit heists and bank robberies.
Then, after a daring heist goes wrong, Nazareth is arrested and most of his gang are shot dead by the police. Kunene and Zakes narrowly escape and decide to make a clean break of it. They leave Soweto for Hillbrow, inner city Johannesburg.
Five years later. all Kunene and Zakes have to show for their endeavours is a failing taxi business. What started out as an honest days' work has turned into a treacherous death trap involving shootouts with rival taxi gangs, and finally the carjacking of their own taxi. So much for Egoli – the place of gold.
Kunene lives in a once grand, but run down tenement, strewn with prostitutes, junkies and illegal immigrants. The landlords collect rent, while working people live twenty to an apartment.
Kunene has an idea. He sets up the Hillbrow People’s Housing Trust, and promises the tenants a better deal in return for their rent. Once in possession of the money, Kunene ruthlessly negotiates with the landlords, and effectively takes the properties from right under their noses. Then he expands his operation. Kunene has come of age - a gangster, a crime boss and the most daring entrepreneur in Johannesburg.
When all else fails, force is used to secure and hold his empire. But this does not escape the notice of DETECTIVE BLAKKIE SWART, a tough, streetwise cop. Swart makes it a personal vendetta to bring Kunene down. Having worked for the previous government, Swart has grown tired of the greed, corruption, and deception. He channels all his aggression into getting one man. Lucky Kunene, aka “The Hoodlum of Hillbrow”.
But this is only half Kunene’s problems. Enter Nigerian Drug Lord TONY NGU. A fierce figure who controls Hillbrow’s lucrative crack and heroin trade. You see, in order to clean up his buildings, Kunene has stepped on too many toes.
With Nazareth out of jail and hooked on crack, Tony Ngu on the warpath, and Detective Swart a heartbeat behind him, Kunene will have to use all his skills, brains and street smarts, to survive this New Paradise. JERUSALEMA: GANGSTER'S PARADISE takes an unwavering and blisteringly stylized look into the crime, corruption, and transgressions of the new South Africa. This is what is happening on the streets today.
Welcome to the new Jerusalem. Enter with caution.