Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 2008
Pays concerné : Afrique du Sud
Support : 35 mm
Durée : 118 minutes
Genre : thriller
Type : fiction


L’histoire d’un jeune voyou, Lucky Kunene, Issu de la campagne d’Afrique du Sud et qui se fabrique un nom de défenseur des pauvres dans le quartier d’Hillbrow à Soweto, avec son meilleur ami Zakes.
Ils sont tous deux coachés par Nazareth MBOLELO, un ex soldat de l’ANC, farouchement opposé à l’ancien régime, formé par les Russes. Crimes, vols de voitures (cajacking) et de magasins sont leur quotidien avant qu’ils ne décident tous deux de se ranger comme chauffeurs de taxi. Mais la violence est partout et risque de les rattraper.
Tout ce dont rêvait Lucky Kunene, c’est une voiture BMW dernier cri, une habitation avec une vue sur la mer. Et pourtant, il est issu d’une famille pauvre. Pour Lucky Kunene comme pour beaucoup de jeunes de sa génération, affronter la police est un insigne honneur et aller en prison est devenu une routine.

Film de Ralph Ziman (Afrique du Sud), 1h58 min

Réalisation & scénario : Ralph Ziman

Interprètes/Actors : Rapulana Seiphmo, Jeffery Sekele, Ronnie Nykale, Malusi Skenjana, Shelly Meskin

Montage/Editing : David Helfand
Scénario/Script : Ralph Ziman
Images/Pictures : Nic Hofmeyr
Son/Sound : Peter Brown
Musique/Music : Alan Lazar
Décor/Set design : Flo Ballack
Affiche/Poster : Rohan Reddy

Durée/Length : 118 mn
Format 35 mm

Production : Mutifilms, Tendeka Matatu
Distribution : Moviehouse Entertainment
Contact : [email protected]


L’avvento della democrazia in Sudafrica ha portato grandi speranze ma ha dato anche origine a violenza, caos e anarchia. Come dopo ogni rivoluzione, prima che si ristabilisca il nuovo ordine, ci sono solo due strade possibili: adattarsi o morire. Questa è la logica di Lucky Kunene, che da piccolo gangster di periferia diventa uno dei più ricchi uomini di Johannesburg con la Hillbrow Poeple Housing Trust, un’impresa che mescola affari e azione sociale con l’aiuto della malavita locale. Un po’ Robin Hood un po’ cialtrone, Lucky è considerato un benefattore sia dai poveri del quartiere fatiscente di Hillbrow che da una giovane bianca che cerca di salvare il fratello dalla droga, ma i suoi metodi poco ortodossi attirano l’attenzione delle forze dell’ordine. Il film è ispirato a fatti reali.

Sudafrica – 2008

Regia: Ralph Ziman
Sceneggiatura: Ralph Ziman
Fotografia: Nicolas Hofmayer
Montaggio: David Helfand
Suono: Peter Brown
Musica: Alan Lazar
Interpreti: Rapulana Seiphemo, Ronnie Nyakale, Shelly Meskin, Jeffrey Sekele, Malusi Skenjana, Robert Hobbs, Tshabalala Lennox Mathabathe
Formato: 35 mm
Durata: 120 min.
Versione originale: Inglese
Produzione: Jerusalem Entjha Films & Muti Films

Moviehouse Entertainment: Mark Vennis: tel.+44 (0)20 7836 5536; [email protected]

Durban International Film Festival 2008 (Premio del Pubblico per il Miglior Film e Migliore Attore) / Fespaco 2009 (Premio per il Miglior Montaggio – Premio per la Miglior Fotografia – Miglior Interpretazione Maschile)


« If you’re going to steal… Steal big, and hope like hell you get away with it! »

The tale of a self-made Sowetan entrepreneur climbing the Hillbrow criminal underworld ladder one rung at a time.

All LUCKY KUNENE ever wanted was a BMW seven series and a house with a sea view. But born into a poor family in Soweto in the dying years of Apartheid, the odds were stacked against him. However, working a menial, dead end job, was never an option for this ambitious, talented and impatient young man.

You see, to Lucky Kunene and many of his generation, battling the police is a badge of honour, and doing time in jail is an everyday reality.

It is not until he falls under the spell of NAZARETH MBOLELO, a Russian trained, ex ANC soldier, with a vendetta against the old regime, that Kunene and his best friend ZAKES, are plucked from the nursery slopes of crime, and roped into armed robbery.

Carjacking, or « affirmative repossession » as it is euphemistically called, gives him a glimpse at a brighter world. A Datsun pick up truck gets him a suit. A Toyota lands him a new fridge. A Mazda equals a new wardrobe. A Mercedes scores him a new hi-fi, a VCR and a new sofa. From there it’s a roller coaster ride into cash-in-transit heists and bank robberies.

Then, after a daring heist goes wrong, Nazareth is arrested and most of his gang are shot dead by the police. Kunene and Zakes narrowly escape and decide to make a clean break of it. They leave Soweto for Hillbrow, inner city Johannesburg.

Five years later. all Kunene and Zakes have to show for their endeavours is a failing taxi business. What started out as an honest days’ work has turned into a treacherous death trap involving shootouts with rival taxi gangs, and finally the carjacking of their own taxi. So much for Egoli – the place of gold.

Kunene lives in a once grand, but run down tenement, strewn with prostitutes, junkies and illegal immigrants. The landlords collect rent, while working people live twenty to an apartment.

Kunene has an idea. He sets up the Hillbrow People’s Housing Trust, and promises the tenants a better deal in return for their rent. Once in possession of the money, Kunene ruthlessly negotiates with the landlords, and effectively takes the properties from right under their noses. Then he expands his operation. Kunene has come of age – a gangster, a crime boss and the most daring entrepreneur in Johannesburg.

When all else fails, force is used to secure and hold his empire. But this does not escape the notice of DETECTIVE BLAKKIE SWART, a tough, streetwise cop. Swart makes it a personal vendetta to bring Kunene down. Having worked for the previous government, Swart has grown tired of the greed, corruption, and deception. He channels all his aggression into getting one man. Lucky Kunene, aka « The Hoodlum of Hillbrow ».

But this is only half Kunene’s problems. Enter Nigerian Drug Lord TONY NGU. A fierce figure who controls Hillbrow’s lucrative crack and heroin trade. You see, in order to clean up his buildings, Kunene has stepped on too many toes.

With Nazareth out of jail and hooked on crack, Tony Ngu on the warpath, and Detective Swart a heartbeat behind him, Kunene will have to use all his skills, brains and street smarts, to survive this New Paradise. JERUSALEMA takes an unwavering and blisteringly stylized look into the crime, corruption, and transgressions of the new South Africa. This is what is happening on the streets today.

Welcome to the new Jerusalem. Enter with caution.

Director’s Note
The first time I heard someone had tried to steal a high-rise building in central Johannesburg in broad daylight I was dumbstruck, « How do you steal a building?. » And not just that, one smooth operator had stolen literally dozens of them. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. In the crime capital of the world, a city with record numbers of murders, muggings, rapes and car jackings, to name just a few of its’ dubious honours, it was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to steal an entire building!

How had Johannesburg gone from so much hope and potential in 1994 to this abject horror a decade later? Was the saying true?’After every revolution comes a new order, but before that comes opportunity’?

I’d been looking to do a crime story based in the city of my birth for some time and now had my way in.

Researching the film took a year alone and help, amongst others, from the South African Police Services and co-operation of several (un-named) individuals involved in this incredible scam.

I wanted the film, JERUSALEMA, to take a harsh but realistic look at Johannesburg, the city, the people, the place but also to reflect the hopes and aspirations of its’ citizens. In effect, Johannesburg was to become a character within the film itself.

JERUSALEMA explores the will of the entrepreneurial spirit to assert itself in the face of degradation and decay. It looks at how law and order are viewed in a country that’s deeply suspicious of the police. A legacy not easily shorn after so much pain. Chronicling the rise to power of a self made millionaire from the slums of Soweto, the film shows how crime has come to pay in the new South Africa. Freedom is slavery, change is opportunity and property is theft. Welcome to the Promised Land…


Format: 35 mm
Audio: Dolby Digital
Length: 118 minutes

1.Writer/Director: Ralph Ziman
2. Producer: Tendeka Matatu
3. Executive Producers: Mark Vennis, Gary Phillips, Ronnie Apteker
4. Production Company: Muti Films
5. International Sales: Moviehouse Entertainment
6. North American Represent: ICM – Peter Trinh

JERUSALEMA – Main Credits

Lucky Kunene__ Rapulana Seiphemo
Nazareth__ Jeffrey Sekele
Zakes Mbolelo__ Ronnie Nyakale
Tony Ngu__ Malusi Skenjana
Leah Friedland__ Shelly Meskin
Swart__ Robert Hobbs
Young Kunene__ Jafta Mamabolo
Young Zakes__ Motlatsi Mahloko
Sithole__ Kenneth Nkosi

Writer/Director: Ralph Ziman
Producer: Tendeka Matatu
Executive Producers: Mark Vennis, Gary Phillips, Ronnie Apteker
DOP: Nicolaas Hofmeyr
Editor: David Helfand
Composer: Alan Lazar
Art Director: Flo Ballack
Associate Producers: Jewels Satterfield, Mtutu Matshoba
Partager :