(This post contains spoilers about the movie Catch a Fire)
Real life stories are tough to tell, because you can only take so much liberty in how the story plays out, and in a movie like Catch a Fire, you really see how complicated real life is.
The rhetoric of this film is a gray one. Normally if a film was about a human rights struggle the principal character would be noble and just, and their eventual victory would be highly worth celebrating. It's that emotion that made a film like Hotel Rwanda or Schindler's List so moving.
Yet Catch a Fire deals with the apartheid in Africa, through the real life story of Patrick Chamusso, excellently played by Derek Luke. Initially Chamusso gets wrongly accused of a terrorist activity. Yet the reason he's wrongly accused is partially linked to his calling in sick to work and sneaking off to visit a woman whom he had an affair and a child with. Chamusso does something morally wrong, and at the same time his punishment is incongrous with his crime.
Yet the terrible torture he under goes pushes him to care about the white/black struggle in South Africa, even though before he avoided the controversy and tried to remain under the radar. So now his 2nd wave of ill behavior is in alignment with his first punishment. Yet, this only distances him more from his wife and family, and really creates a dilemna for a modern western audience.
It is obvious that the apartheid is very evil, and as I really saw in the book Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog, you really see that the atrocities by the African National Congress, and the white minority were equally horrific, and it is no different in this film, although Phillip Noyce tries to tell the story as though the ANC (African National Congress) is completly honorable for fighting against injustice. Yet, a western audience has got to also question to appropriateness of the ACN planning massive small cell terrorist attacks, thinking of recent terrorist attacks in America, Europe, and the Middle East.
In this regard, I think Catch a Fire is excellent film for discussion. What does it say about integrity? Justice? Peace? Terrorism? And the follow question then, is do you agree with the message of Catch A Fire?
Related Tags: Derek Luke, Catch A Fire, Terrorism, Justice, Peace, Integrity, South Africa, Apartheid, Country of My Skull, Antjie Krog, Phillip Noyce, African National Congress, ANC, Patrick Chamusso, Film