Entertainment

Silverton Siege Review: A Slightly Contrived But Effective Action-Thriller

In 1980, three activists from the ANC organization uMkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) robbed a bank in Silverton, Pretoria. This came after an unsuccessful attempt to destroy an oil plant to destabilize apartheid-era South Africa. The trio took 25 people hostage and demanded the release of Nelson Mandela. This story has been adapted into an action thriller “based on a true story”. Siege of SilvertonIt reinterprets the situation and adds a touch of old-fashioned Hollywood inventions.

A Netflix adaptation of this story by South African director Mandla Dube and screenwriter Sabelo Mgidi, a trio of armed activists is transformed. They are now two men and one woman, Calvin (Thabo Rametsi), Aldo (Stefan Erasmus) and Terra (Noxolo Dlamini). As events follow a true story, the three attempt to destroy a power plant as a sign of their anti-apartheid. Needing a new plan, they run to the bank and start making demands. One of them is the release of Nelson Mandela, as demanded by real activists. Some things are true, but Siege of Silverton This makes it clear that this is not a retelling of real events live. Dube is interested in engaging and educating audiences and honoring the spirit of these activists.

The true story ends in tragedy, but Dube’s style of filmmaking here is not to care about the exact narrative of what happened. Instead, he creates characters from these activists and infuses them with the energy of the anti-apartheid movement. He also doesn’t necessarily condone their actions, but rather provides context for situations in which even the actors in the film should google. Many have contributed to the fight for human rights, especially the fight against apartheid in South Africa. But history is often not written by the voiceless. Few are of high priority because they cannot be ignored, but the rest are footnotes in history. Dube’s film is essentially based on the stories of Wilfred Madela, Humphrey Makhubu, and Stephen Mafoko, creating the story of three young men responding to an entity that has long dehumanized, fired, and killed. The story weaves the personal journeys of the three characters and paints a picture of how they are bound to something bigger than themselves.

Despite the great effort put into making an action thriller that is both politically relevant and entertaining, the film suffers from two fatal flaws. The first is that the film is tied to historical events rather than being an original film set in South Africa. The second is to destabilize the story by using Hollywood’s favorite character, the likable white cop. It’s a pity that Dube and Mgidi’s ambitions were so clearly realized that they too did not overcome the need to include middle-aged South Africa in their narrative. Characters can communicate their thoughts and feelings in different ways, without the need for police to develop the empathy skills that must already be present in the narrative.

Overall, this movie is longer than necessary, but it’s a good watch. An hour and 40 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time, but the speed spoils a ride that can be boring. The film has great performances by the actors and draws our attention to all take root in their respective characters. Dube’s director is perhaps the most unique element of the film, embracing the techniques and conventions that make action thrillers a compelling work of art. There is a real feeling of being transported to that time. Feel the tension in the air. Dube has a way to make your heart race with well-directed and well-executed scenes.

Siege of Silverton It’s a movie that many people will take that story seriously. Yes, some raw elements are inserted into the narrative to create a story within the central plot. There are inconsistencies with characters and common analogies that cause serious eye rotation. But despite its flaws, I encourage you to take a closer look at a new review of apartheid in South Africa and the little spark that sparked what became known as the Nelson Mandela liberation campaign and the overall anti-apartheid cultural shift.

Siege of Silverton It will be released on Netflix on Wednesday, April 27th. The film was rated TV-MA at 100 minutes in length.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5 (Good)


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Silverton Siege Review: A Slightly Contrived But Effective Action-Thriller

In 1980, three men, activists of the ANC’s uMkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), held up a bank in Silverton, Pretoria. This happened after a botched operation to sabotage an oil plant to destabilize Apartheid-era South Africa. The trio took 25 people hostage and demanded the release of Nelson Mandela. This story has been repurposed for a “based on a true story” action-thriller, Silverton Siege, that reimagines the situation and adds a touch of old-fashioned Hollywood contrivances.
In the Netflix adaptation of this story, by South African director Mandla Dube and screenwriter Sabelo Mgidi, the trio of armed activists is altered. They are now two men and a woman, Calvin (Thabo Rametsi), Aldo (Stefan Erasmus) and Terra (Noxolo Dlamini). Just as the events of the real story follow, the trio attempt to sabotage a power plant as a statement against Apartheid. In need of a new plan, they rush to a bank and start making demands. One of which is to free Nelson Mandela, just as the real activists demanded. However, while specific points are factual, Silverton Siege drives home the fact that this is not a play-by-play retelling of actual events. Dube is interested in leveling with his audience to teach them something and celebrate the spirit behind these activists.
 

The real story ends in tragedy, but Dube’s style of filmmaking here is to not dwell on the exact recounting of what happened. Instead, he creates characters out of these activists and imbues them with the energy of the anti-Apartheid movement. He isn’t necessarily condoning their actions, either, but instead providing context to a situation that even the actors in the movie had to Google. Many have contributed to the fight for human rights, particularly the fight against Apartheid in South Africa. But history is often not written by the voiceless. Only a few are prioritized because they cannot be ignored, but the rest are footnotes in history. Dube’s film essentially takes the story of Wilfred Madela, Humphrey Makhubu and Stephen Mafoko to craft a narrative about three young people reacting to an entity that has long dehumanized them, dismissed them, and killed them. The tale weaves the three characters’ personal journeys and paints a picture of how they are tied to something larger than themselves.
Despite the great effort made into creating a politically relevant yet entertaining action-thriller, this movie does suffer from two fatal flaws. The first being the film is tied to a historical event when it could have been an original movie set in Aparathied South Africa. The second is in the use of Hollywood’s favorite trope, the sympathetic white cop, who destabilizes the story being told. Dube and Mgidi’s ambitions are so clearly realized, it is a shame that they too could not overcome the need to include a middle-aged white South African into their narrative. The characters have other means of communicating their thoughts and feelings, and it doesn’t require the cop to build empathy that should already exist on its own in the narrative.

Overall, the film is a fine watch, albeit more protracted than it needs to be. Clocking in at an hour and 40 minutes doesn’t seem like much, but the pacing undermines what could have been a white-knuckle ride. The film is well-acted by its ensemble and they all manage to capture one’s attention in order to root for their respective characters. Dube’s directing is perhaps the most distinctive element of the picture, embracing the techniques and conventions that make action-thrillers compelling works of art. There is a genuine feeling of being transported to this era; the tension in the air is palpable. Dube has a way of getting one’s heart pumping with well-staged and well-executed scenes.
Silverton Siege is a film that many will deem important, and it is for the story it tells. Yes, some undercooked elements are thrust into the narrative to create a story within the central plot. There are inconsistencies with the characters and the usual tropes that induce severe eye-rolling. However, despite its flaws, it encourages a re-examination of Apartheid South Africa and a closer look at the tiny sparks that lit the flame known as the Free Nelson Mandela campaign and the overall cultural shift against Apartheid.
Silverton Siege premiered on Netflix on Wednesday, April 27. The film is 100 minutes long and is rated TV-MA.

Our Rating:
3 out of 5 (Good)

#Silverton #Siege #Review #Slightly #Contrived #Effective #ActionThriller

Silverton Siege Review: A Slightly Contrived But Effective Action-Thriller

In 1980, three men, activists of the ANC’s uMkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), held up a bank in Silverton, Pretoria. This happened after a botched operation to sabotage an oil plant to destabilize Apartheid-era South Africa. The trio took 25 people hostage and demanded the release of Nelson Mandela. This story has been repurposed for a “based on a true story” action-thriller, Silverton Siege, that reimagines the situation and adds a touch of old-fashioned Hollywood contrivances.
In the Netflix adaptation of this story, by South African director Mandla Dube and screenwriter Sabelo Mgidi, the trio of armed activists is altered. They are now two men and a woman, Calvin (Thabo Rametsi), Aldo (Stefan Erasmus) and Terra (Noxolo Dlamini). Just as the events of the real story follow, the trio attempt to sabotage a power plant as a statement against Apartheid. In need of a new plan, they rush to a bank and start making demands. One of which is to free Nelson Mandela, just as the real activists demanded. However, while specific points are factual, Silverton Siege drives home the fact that this is not a play-by-play retelling of actual events. Dube is interested in leveling with his audience to teach them something and celebrate the spirit behind these activists.
 

The real story ends in tragedy, but Dube’s style of filmmaking here is to not dwell on the exact recounting of what happened. Instead, he creates characters out of these activists and imbues them with the energy of the anti-Apartheid movement. He isn’t necessarily condoning their actions, either, but instead providing context to a situation that even the actors in the movie had to Google. Many have contributed to the fight for human rights, particularly the fight against Apartheid in South Africa. But history is often not written by the voiceless. Only a few are prioritized because they cannot be ignored, but the rest are footnotes in history. Dube’s film essentially takes the story of Wilfred Madela, Humphrey Makhubu and Stephen Mafoko to craft a narrative about three young people reacting to an entity that has long dehumanized them, dismissed them, and killed them. The tale weaves the three characters’ personal journeys and paints a picture of how they are tied to something larger than themselves.
Despite the great effort made into creating a politically relevant yet entertaining action-thriller, this movie does suffer from two fatal flaws. The first being the film is tied to a historical event when it could have been an original movie set in Aparathied South Africa. The second is in the use of Hollywood’s favorite trope, the sympathetic white cop, who destabilizes the story being told. Dube and Mgidi’s ambitions are so clearly realized, it is a shame that they too could not overcome the need to include a middle-aged white South African into their narrative. The characters have other means of communicating their thoughts and feelings, and it doesn’t require the cop to build empathy that should already exist on its own in the narrative.

Overall, the film is a fine watch, albeit more protracted than it needs to be. Clocking in at an hour and 40 minutes doesn’t seem like much, but the pacing undermines what could have been a white-knuckle ride. The film is well-acted by its ensemble and they all manage to capture one’s attention in order to root for their respective characters. Dube’s directing is perhaps the most distinctive element of the picture, embracing the techniques and conventions that make action-thrillers compelling works of art. There is a genuine feeling of being transported to this era; the tension in the air is palpable. Dube has a way of getting one’s heart pumping with well-staged and well-executed scenes.
Silverton Siege is a film that many will deem important, and it is for the story it tells. Yes, some undercooked elements are thrust into the narrative to create a story within the central plot. There are inconsistencies with the characters and the usual tropes that induce severe eye-rolling. However, despite its flaws, it encourages a re-examination of Apartheid South Africa and a closer look at the tiny sparks that lit the flame known as the Free Nelson Mandela campaign and the overall cultural shift against Apartheid.
Silverton Siege premiered on Netflix on Wednesday, April 27. The film is 100 minutes long and is rated TV-MA.

Our Rating:
3 out of 5 (Good)

#Silverton #Siege #Review #Slightly #Contrived #Effective #ActionThriller


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