Catch a Fire

Synopsis: A political thriller: the real-life story of a South African hero's journey to freedom. In the country's turbulent and divided times in the 1980s, Patrick Chamusso is an oil refinery foreman and soccer coach who is apolitical - until he and his wife Precious are jailed. Patrick is stunned into action against the country's oppressive reigning system, even as police Colonel Nic Vos further insinuates himself into the Chamussos' lives.
Director(s): Phillip Noyce
Production: Focus Features
  2 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
101 min

This is Radio Freedom.

The voice of

the African National Congress.

South Africa's time-tested

revolutionary movement

In the South African

capital of Pretoria,

three black people

were hanged this morning.

They were all members of the

outlawed African National Congress.

This is our land.

This is what we fought for.

It belongs to us.

It belongs to us.

...Communist manufactured

guns, ammunition and explosives

have been seized in

Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth.

We're considered by some

people to be a doomed nation,

which we don't

believe we are.

Keeping black

and white separate.

Policies which the outside

world universally condemns.

Whites cannot forever

rule 25 million blacks.

They are a tribe of whites

fiercely determined to survive.

Only one African country is left

with a totally white government.

The battle for

South Africa has...

This is the first startling message

we have heard about apartheid.

It means just

what it sounds like...apart.

My mother gave me

the name Rogerio,

and then my father gave me

the name Patrick.

When I was small

I used both of them,

but I like the one

my father gave me.

Patrick. Patrick Chamusso.

My father had come

from Mozambique

with the migrant workers

to the mines of South Africa.

When I was 15

I started to work underground.

I became a man in that place.

The plant that provides oil

for the whole country.

A hard place.

I always thought, "Patrick,

you are from outside.

"Be smart.

"Keep your head down for

yourself and for your family. "

I worked hard,

pulled myself up.

Made good friends

and a good life.

I was cruising, just cruising.

Who took my snuff?

Precious, keep straight.


Now. Change gears.

Oh! Oh! Oh!

Hey, Precious!

Sorry! Sorry! Precious,

you can't stop like that.


No, Patrick!

Patrick, how am I

supposed to learn?


Get out!

Nice moves, sissie.

Mrs. Stirling Moss.

Sittin' here,

eatin' my heart out waitin'

Waitin' for some lover to call

I dialed about

a 1000 numbers lately

Almost rang the phone

off the wall

Gotta have some hot stuff

baby this evenin'

I want some hot stuff

baby tonight

I need some hot stuff

baby this evenin'

Gotta have some hot stuff

Gotta have some love tonight

I want some hot stuff

I need some hot stuff


It's a scaevola.

How does it

grow up here?

What's this now?

Patrick Chamusso, baas.

That's my family, baas.

Give me your pass.

Out of the car.

Come, everyone, out!

It's my camera, baas.

Whose car is this?

My car, baas.

Patrick. Where are you going? Patrick?

I'm going home, baas.

And where do you get the money for

this nice car and that nice camera?

No, baas, I work.

I have a job.

I'm a foreman, baas.

I work at Secunda.

Go ahead. Search him.

Hold still.

What's wrong with you, huh?

Hey, you, come here.

Down! Down.

Christ, they

really buggered you up.

So, you leave the country,

train in exile with the ANC,

come back as a terrorist.

Boom! There goes

a railway track.

You say you're in a struggle to

make life better for the blacks.

But who do you hurt?

Blacks, whites, everyone.

If you succeed,

who do you think

is going to be running things?

The ANC? No.

We'll be taking our marching

orders from Moscow, my friend.

From the communists, that

train you, supply you weapons.

And now, my job

is to see to it

that you are hanged.

But I don't want to hang you.

I want to help you.

Patrick! Security.

I'm going to

charge you, boy.

Baas, wait.

No, man. You people have

your own toilets over there.

Baas, please. There's a

cracked pipe in ash washing.

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Shawn Slovo

Shawn Slovo (born 1950) is a screenwriter, best known for the film A World Apart, based on her childhood in South Africa under apartheid. She is the daughter of South African Communist Party leaders Joe Slovo and Ruth First. She wrote the screenplay for the 2006 film Catch a Fire (also a historical film about apartheid), and for the 2001 film Captain Corelli's Mandolin.In the late 1970s she served as Robert De Niro's personal assistant while he made the films Raging Bull and The King of Comedy. She also made the screenplay for Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight. Slovo currently lives in London and often works for Working Title Films. Her sister Gillian Slovo is also a writer and her sister Robyn Slovo is a producer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Catch a Fire" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 25 Oct. 2021. <>.

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