Tense, violent South African thriller set during apartheid.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Silverton Siege is a 2022 South African thriller in which three anti-apartheid guerilla fighters hold a bank hostage and demand the release of Nelson Mandela. There are some violent moments, including characters shot and killed, and characters stabbed and killed; some blood. A car chase culminates in a shootout on a busy public street, resulting in some casualties. Some profanity, including "f--k." A lot of cigarette smoking. The movie is set in South Africa in 1980, and along with all the action and violence, the movie explores the idea of freedom and how much people are willing to pay to attain it. The movie also reveals a large cross-section of South African society and the many ways in which people responded to and lived in an oppressive segregated society.
Freedom will cost you everything.
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1st time Director wanted 60% factual, created 100% doubtful
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What's the Story?
One of the themes is the "price of freedom." What are some examples that demonstrate this theme? How does the movie show the different ways in which South Africans responded and tried to survive apartheid? In SILVERTON SIEGE, it's 1980 in South Africa, and three members of MK, a South African resistance movement against apartheid, are about to sabotage a gas depot. It doesn't take long for these three -- Calvin (Thabo Rhametsi), Terra (Noxolo Diamini), and Aldo (Stefan Erasmus) -- to see that they have been set up. They manage to escape with the police following close by, return to Pretoria, and try to avoid the police by running on foot. They enter a bank to hide, but soon realize that their only alternative, aside from getting arrested or killed, is to take the bank hostage. A standoff ensues between these three and the police and, desperate to find a way to turn this into a political statement against apartheid, Calvin demands the immediate release of Nelson Mandela. As the police scramble to figure out what to do next, Calvin, Terra, and Aldo must fight their own battles inside the bank.
Is It Any Good?
This is a nonstop and tense action movie that also makes a pointed comment about what it means to fight for freedom in an unjust society. Set in and around Pretoria, South Africa in 1980 during apartheid, Silverton Siege is "inspired by true events," and what starts off as a more-or-less action-thriller replete with car chases, fighting with guns, and a hostage standoff becomes something more meaningful. What emerges is a kind of microcosm of South African society during apartheid -- those who fought the system, the racists who benefitted from the system, and people of privilege who used that privilege to join in the struggle against it.
It raises uncomfortable questions about the lengths people are willing to go to attain freedom, equality, and justice, which just makes an already fast-paced action movie that much better. This is a welcome change for a genre more known for being a guilty pleasure.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Silverton Siege is "inspired by true events." Where does the movie seem accurate to what actually happened, and where does it seem like it was exaggerated or perhaps changed for the sake of the story?
One of the themes is the "price of freedom." What are some examples that demonstrate this theme?
How does the movie show the different ways in which South Africans responded and tried to survive apartheid?
- On DVD or streaming: April 27, 2022
- Cast: Thabo Rametsi, Noxolo Dlamini, Stefan Erasmus
- Director: Mandla Dube
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Thriller
- Topics: History
- Run time: 101 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
For kids who love thrills and action
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