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Top 10 Best South African Movies of All Time

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The movie culture in South Africa has been on the increase like a lot of other countries. South African movies are celebrated both home and abroad as the industry has a wide variety of acclaimed movies. South African movies also have various genres that range from comedy, thrillers, romance, drama.

South African movies are impressive and so, as a movie lover, there is plenty of amusement to derive from them. This article will take a look at the top ten South African movies of all time.

best south african movies

1. District 9

This South African action horror movie was released in 2009 and was directed by Neill Blomkamp. The movie was produced with the joint effort of New Zealand, the United States, South Africa.

The movie covers issues of humanity, segregation, and xenophobia, telling the story in an alternate reality. This movie became of the top South African movies of all time and it had 110 nominations, 4 of which were from Oscars, and it won 30 awards.

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2. Blood Diamond

This movie was released in 2006 and was directed by Edward Zwick. It is based on the true story of the historic diamond mines in Sierra Leone, Congo, and Angola which turned out to become war zones. This movie got a total of 27 award nominations, 5 of which were Oscars, and it won a total of 8 awards.

3. Tsotsi

Tsotsi is a 2005 South African movie directed by Gavin Hood. The movie follows the story of the violent life of a young gang leader in Johannesburg. It is on the top 10 South African movies of all time as it won an Oscar award as well as 16 other awards.

4. Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema:

This movie, produced in 2008 and directed by Ralph Ziman, centers on the story of a young hoodlum as he rises through the ranks in crime. The movie has an achievement of 6 awards and 1 nomination.

5. Keeping Up with the Kandasamys:

This is a South African Indian comedy film, and it’s the first of its kind to have a large screening in cinemas. It was directed by Jayan Moodly.

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The movie was widely acclaimed by critics and even sold out during its opening weekend, earning R1.6 million across South Africa.

6. Sarafina

Directed by Darrell Roodt, Sarafina was released in 1992. The movie expressed the South African teenagers fighting against apartheid in the Soweto Uprising.

It is among the top South African movies of all time as it competed at the Cannes Film Festival in 1992 and had 3 nominations.

7. Invictus

This South African movie focuses on Nelson Mandela’s attempt to unite the country through sports by signing up the national rugby team in the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

It was directed by Clint Eastwood and was released in 2009. The movie was nominated for 2 Oscars as well as 35 other awards and won 11 awards.

8. Happiness is a Four-Letter Word

This 2016 romantic comedy was directed by Thabang Moleya. This South African movie revolves around three friends trying to maintain their career and personal lives as they seek happiness.

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This is one of the top South African movies of all time because it was listed number 3 on the top ten when it was released and it went ahead to the 69th Cannes Film Festival in 2016.

9. Cry Freedom

This 1987 South African movie was directed by Richard Attenborough. It tells the story of a South African journalist and his attempt to investigate a certain death. The movie had a total of 16 nominations, including 3 Oscars, and won 5 awards.

10. Zulu

This is a 1964 drama directed by Cy Endfield. It follows the story of British soldiers at war with Zulu warriors at Rorke’s Drift. It had 1 BAFTA Film Award nomination.

There, you have a list of 10 awesome South African you can catch up on. Some you might have seen but probably want to watch again because they are amusing. Is there any movie you think should be on this list? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section.

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