Genre: POLITICAL THRILLER / DRAMA
Release Dates: October 27, 2006 (limited)
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The spark that ignites us, unites us.
Stand for something.
Production Company: Mirage Enterprises / Moonlighting Films South Africa / Working Title Films
Shot on location in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Mozambique, this political thriller is based on the real-life story of Patrick Chamusso. The film takes place in South Africa, spanning from the country’s turbulent and divided years in the 1980s to the present day. Patrick (played by Derek Luke) is an oil refinery employee and soccer player who is apolitical – until he and his wife are brutalized by government-sanctioned terror squads. Shocked into action, Patrick reorients his sense of self and purpose. Even as policeman Nic Vos (Academy Award winner Tim Robbins) further insinuates himself into the lives of Patrick and his family, Patrick becomes a rebel fighter and political operative, staging daring solo attacks against the brutal apartheid regime. Change must and will come, not only for South Africa but also for Patrick, Nic, and those closest to them.
Derek Luke (Friday Night Lights, Antwone Fisher) and Academy Award Winner Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption, War Of The Worlds) head the cast in this political thriller based on the true story of Patrick Chamusso. Tim Robbins plays a charismatic policeman who investigates Patrick and his family. Hotstuff is directed by Phillip Noyce (The Quiet American, Patriot Games), written by Shawn Slovo and produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Anthony Minghella and Robyn Slovo. Sydney Pollack serves as executive producer.
Times are tough for black people in South Africa but Patrick Chamusso has his home, his family and a good job at the Secunda Oil Refinery. He wants no part of the anti-Apartheid movement, choosing instead, to lead a simple life. Patrick is absent from work when terrorists attempt to blow up the Oil Refinery. He has taken the day off to watch his football team play the final and to secretly visit the son he fathered with his ex-girlfriend.
Nic Vos, a white policeman striving to maintain order in the face of increasing unrest, arrests Patrick and two black co-workers. During the interrogation, he presents himself as a saviour from the harsh methods of his fellow cops. To protect his marriage, Patrick hides the alibi that could save him, until his wife Precious is also arrested and beaten. He breaks down and confesses a lie: That he aided the terrorists. Vos sees through his confession and releases him.
Patrick returns home a changed man and joins the outlawed African National Congress (ANC). He volunteers to single handily destroy the Secunda Refinery, earning him the code name ‘Hotstuff’. When Vos learns of the plan, a manhunt begins. Patrick strikes the plant, sending the surrounding black townships into darkness. Vos closes in on him and captures Patrick who is sentenced to 24 years in the notorious Robben Island prison.
Crew: Phillip Noyce (director); Shawn Slovo (writer); Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Robyn Slovo, Anthony Minghella (producers); Miranda Culley (associate producer); Sydney Pollack (executive producer)
Cast: Robert Hobbs as SB policeman, Derek Luke as Patrick Chamusso, Bonnie Mbuli (Henna), Tim Robbins as Nic Vos
Studio: Focus Features
Film Fetish trivia:
Catch A Fire was originally titled Hotstuff, the nickname Patrick Chamusso earns when he volunteers to single handily destroy the Secunda Oil Refinery that formerly employed him.
Catch A Fire will have it’s U.S. premiere on Thursday, September 14, at 6:30 p.m., with a screening at the Annual Washington, DC Film Festival, hosted by Amnesty International. Click HERE for more information on the festival.