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A political thriller that powerfully tells the real-life story of a South African hero's journey to freedom. In the country's turbulent and divided times in the 1980s, Patrick Chamusso (Derek Luke) is an oil refinery foreman and soccer coach who is apolitical - until he and his wife Precious (Bonnie Henna) are jailed. Patrick is stunned into action against the country's oppressive reigning system, even as police Colonel Nic Vos (Tim Robbins) further insinuates himself into the Chamussos' lives.
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Full Plot Details
Apartheid-era South Africa is a country riddled with conflict. Directed by Philip Noyce (The Quiet American, Patriot Games) Catch A Fire tells the real life story of Patrick Chamusso, husband, father and ultimately freedom fighter. Told through the eyes of South Africans, the film vividly captures the moving journey of a quiet living man who is spurred into action by the oppression and violence of the ruling regime.
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|Christian Science Monitor Peter Rainer Philip Noyce's anti-apartheid drama is tense and thoughtful, if somewhat marred by Hollywood-style thrills.|
|Baltimore Sun Chris Kaltenbach Both a condemnation of torture as a political tool and a tribute to the bravery that exists within everyone.|
|The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore Comparisons to "Hotel Rwanda" make sense up to a point - both feature heroes who have the scales removed from their eyes - but "Fire" is no tearjerker, and here the story of Chamusso's conversion serves mainly as prologue to the main plot, a history-tinted cat-and-mouse policier in which he will attempt to finish the job he was wrongly accused of starting.|
|USA Today Claudia Puig Though preachy at times, Catch a Fire is a well-constructed action thriller elevated by Luke's performance.|
|Miami Herald Connie Ogle Screenwriter Shawn Slovo -- whose white parents were anti-apartheid activists in South Africa -- ends his finely tuned screenplay on a note not of violence and anger but of forgiveness. It's a breathtaking coda that reminds us of that undeniable human beauty: the ability to survive, to fight for right -- and then move peacefully on.|
|Charlotte Observer Lawrence Toppman Fire shows what happens when a government systematically denies rights to one racial group for decades, but its message is more current.|
|Seattle Post-Intelligencer William Arnold The movie is flawed and doesn't completely come off as a convincing biography, but its heart is in the right place, it has moments of poignancy and power, and it makes a pleasant change of pace for a genre that essentially has become a cry of despair.|
|ReelViews James Berardinelli Catch a Fire isn't edgy like some of Noyce's previous titles nor is it a big-budget endeavor with A-list stars. Instead, it's a simple and sincere tale of inspiration.|