Dangerous Ground

Synopsis: Vusi Madlazi returns to the South African village he left as a young boy (he was organizing against apartheid, and left in fear of his life) to bury his father. He meets up with his brother Ernest, who tells him their other brother Stephen couldn't be contacted. Vusi goes to Johannesburg to find him, but at first can only find his neighbor/girlfriend, Karin, a stripper. Vusi proceeds to learn how conditions have changed since the end of apartheid, not always for the better for black men.
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Director(s): Darrell Roodt
Production: New Line Home Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min

Man, let me tell you something.

In South Africa in 1983...

there was three things you

definitely didn't want to be-



and radical.

We say there will be

no education without liberation!

Stand up now with dignity!

March forward!

We are raising

our clenched fists!

Mayibuye! Afrika!

Away with the government!

Away with the regime!

We say,

"Away with Bantu education!"

We say, "Away with exploitation

and unemployment!"

We say,

"Away with matchbox houses!"

- Amandla!

- Away!

- Amandla!

- Away!

- Amandla!

- Away!

All I want is the names.

That's all I want.

You're a young little boy.

How old? How old?



You should be out on the street

kicking a ball around...

playing soccer.

Not this!

Now listen to me,

you little kaffir.

Next time, next time...

I'll pull the trigger.

There was never a next time.

I was smuggled

out of the country...

before my next birthday...

and ended up living

in the Bay Area...

San Francisco,

but that's another story.

It was fourteen years

before I set foot...

in the land of my birth again.

I came back to bury my father...

in the beautiful hills

of the Transkei.

The thing is,

I left as an African...

and came back an American.


How you doing?

Oh, man.

How you doing?

Look at you.

Damn, man. You was this big

last time I seen you.

What's up?

Never mind. Come.

We have to get you changed.

No. This is what I'm wearing.

- What?

- This is it.

OK. Come.

I like the little hook-up, man.

That's where we buried Father.

He died asking for you.


Here. Take this.


Take it.

I can't do that.

You have to.

You're firstborn.

Now take it.

Give me that.

I bet you don't get

that kind of beer...

where you come from.

I come from here.

I mean America.

No, thank you.

Don't tell me

you're a vegetarian now.

He's studying to be a doctor

of literature, old man...

African literature.

He's a big shot,

but in the meantime...

he's trying to keep

lowlife kids out of trouble.

Isn't that so, Vusi?

I don't deal

with lowlifes, Ernest.

I deal with young kids that

got problems like me and you.

Every month he's been

sending us dollars.

He's rich.

Gets his money from trying

to help American children...

with their drug problems...

but then his conscience

tells him...

he must study African literature

so he can keep in touch...

with our beautiful,

rich culture...

something he knows

nothing about anymore.

Ain't nothing changed.

You still as full of sh*t

as you was when I left.

How many times did I tell you

to come to America...

take advantage,

get an education?

There are more important

things to do-

the struggle.

But then you wouldn't know

anything about that...

living in

your cozy democracy...

twenty thousand miles away.

Boy, I was in the struggle...

when you were still

pissing in your pants.


You were a little kid

when you left.

Those were games

we were playing.

I mean, look at you.

He even sounds

like a f***ing American.

"Oh, I was in the struggle. "

What bullshit!

Look. I'm here. I'm back home...

and we really don't even need

to argue about this.

Well, you can't.

You're the one who went away...

away from all the fighting

and the struggling.

Look, they was gonna kill me!

Not you, me!

So don't tell me about

running away from the struggle.

The days of beating

are over, old man.

You know, I didn't see Steven

around the fire.

Where is he?

We haven't heard from him

for a long time.

Is he all right?

We hear from other people...

that he has a job

in Johannesburg.

I'm worried about him.

My heart tells me

something is wrong.

You must go and find him

and bring him home.

I wish I could.

I got a flight that leaves

tomorrow morning...

and exams and...

There's no way

I could stay here in Africa.

I gotta go back home.

Vusi, son, you are the head

of the household now.

Steven is my last born.

You have to go and find him.

You have to.

I'm about to get out of here.

I just came to say bye.

Why did you

have to hire a BMW?

Why not a Toyota or something?

What's wrong with a BMW?

I hate them.

They're for the rich...

the exploiters.

Is there anything

you don't hate?

I don't hate fighting the Boer.

I don't hate my AK-47.

I don't hate grenades,

my limpet mines.

Why do you keep all that sh*t?

For what?

Because if the new

South Africa treat the poor...

like the old South Africa,

then they will need them.

Maybe you need to go back

to be a soldier, man.

What for?

There's peace.

Everybody's talking about peace,

but where's justice?

Where's my justice?

You'll come back.

Affirmative action will give

you a nice car, a nice job.

What about me?

An old M.K. soldier.

Nobody needs me.

What you need to do

is get yourself back in school.

See, that's how you fight

a war-with education.

Just f*** off!

Wait a minute.

Let me tell you something.

You're my brother,

and I love you...

and you can cuss me all day,

but never put your hands on me.

Tell Mother I'll send word

as soon as I find Steven.

I bet you won't even look!

You'll run away

like the coward that you are.

Well, I'm the one

that's going to look for him.

You the one that let him go.

I couldn't blame Ernest.

He was a soldier without a war.

Victory had come so sudden,

he didn't know what to do.

He was lost, but so was

my little brother Steven...

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Greg Latter

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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