Catch a Fire

Directed By: Phillip Noyce Starring: Derek Luke Tim Robbins

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Product Overview

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


Studio Universal
SKU 203532116
UPC 025193206824
UPC 14 00025193206824
Format DVD
Release Date 4/2/2013
Rating Rating
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Set in early 1980s Apartheid-era South Africa, CATCH A FIRE is a gripping political thriller based on a remarkable true story. Derek Luke (ANTWONE FISHER) stars as Patrick Chamusso, a family man who works as a foreman at the Secunda oil refinery. Although he tries his best to stay out of politics, he is dragged in when Colonel Nic Vos (Tim Robbins) wrongly believes that Chamusso is a prime suspect in a terrorist bombing that occurred at the plant. Despite being brutally beaten and tortured, Chamusso continues to declare his innocence, but the situation changes drastically when the Police Security Branch brings in his wife, Precious (Bonnie Henna). Faced with some hard choices, Chamusso starts listening to radio broadcasts by the illegal African National Congress, an organization of freedom fighters seeking to end apartheid, and decides it's finally time to fight back. Vos and Chamusso, both dedicated to their families as well as to their very different causes, play a relentless game of cat and mouse, symbols of the intense battle between blacks and whites that blew up in horrific violence right before apartheid ended. ^Robbins and Luke are both excellent in complex and difficult roles, and there's a breakout performance from South African actress Henna. Director Phillip Noyce (RABBIT-PROOF FENCE, THE QUIET AMERICAN) and screenwriter Shawn Slovo (whose father, Joe Slovo, was a white leader of the resistance movement) researched the story thoroughly, resulting in a powerful, realistic drama. CATCH A FIRE was filmed on location in South Africa, Mozambique, and Swaziland, and features traditional, folk, and protest songs by the Bongani Singing Group, Sidikadika Ndlovu, Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus, and Bob Marley, among others.
Entertainment Weekly "[M]orally complex....Director Phillip Noyce embraces the tale with gusto, lighting up a picture that is as much a taut action saga as it is a cautionary history lesson." -- Grade: B 11/03/2006 p.50
Box Office "Timely in theme. FIRE still resonates today: It seems only the regions of the world and the names in the headlines have changed." 11/01/2006 p.119
Movieline's Hollywood Life "[A] well-made film with a strong social consciousness....The film benefits from superb performances all around." 11/01/2006 p.103
Total Film 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he real heat is stoked by ANTWONE FISHER star Derek Luke, channelling muted rage and pathos with surprising power." 05/01/2007 p.43
Sight and Sound "The difficulty and continued importance of the process of truth and reconciliation in South Africa is CATCH A FIRE's real moral imperative..." 04/01/2007 p.52
Uncut 3 stars out of 5 -- "The brutal interrogation scenes are heatedly topical..." 09/01/2007 p.122
Ultimate DVD 3 stars out of 5 -- "This is an intriguing and often moving tale that looks at how a country's own oppressive regime can unwittingly inspire homegrown terrorists....A thrilling real life tale..." 08/01/2007 p.120
Phillip Noyce
Derek Luke
Tim Robbins
Cast & Crew
Bonnie Henna - Actor
Derek Luke - Actor
Garry Phillips - Cinematographer
Jill Bilcock - Editor
Michele Burgers - Actor
Philip Miller - Original Music By
Phillip Noyce - Director
Ron Fortunato - Cinematographer
Shawn Slovo - Writer
Sydney Pollack - Executive Producer
Tim Bevan - Producer
Tim Robbins - Actor
Technical Info
Catalog ID 61032068
UPC 00025193206824
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 97 minutes
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English, French Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review It would be easy to dismiss Catch a Fire as yet another story of a heroic rebel fighting against an oppressive regime. That would be an accurate high-level description of the story, but it neglects the intangibles: solid acting, effective direction, and a plot that makes occasional (albeit minor) diversions from the expected path...Catch a Fire adds another brand of diversity to Noyce's cinematic bonfire. He's a director who can move smoothly from Hollywood (Patriot Games) to independent fare (The Quiet American), and who never shies away from controversial subjects or allegorical material. There aren't many directors who share that versatility.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
Review Timing is everything, and when it comes to Phillip Noyce's incendiary Catch a Fire, the timing couldn't be more perfect. On the face of it, it is just another historical drama limning a sorry chapter from South Africa's sorry apartheid past. But with so much current debate roiling over the morality and effectiveness of torture, the film is in the right place at the right time; not only does Catch a Fire capture the current zeitgeist, it's what lies at its very heart...Catch a Fire is both harrowing and hopeful, with a conclusion that is entirely too rushed. But what flaws it has are more than made up for in the performances - in those moments when the tension is at its highest and a historical drama morphs into a political thriller - and in what it adds to the ongoing debate.
Reviewer Pam Grady
ReviewRating 9
DVD, English, Spanish, French, Widescreen, Dolby, Dolby Digital (5.1)
Product Attributes
Actor Robbins,Tim
Label Mca Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Chris Kaltenbach, Baltimore Sun ...a tribute to the bravery that exists within everyone.
David Ansen, NewsWeek Luke has real movie-star power. He's enormously sympathetic...
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor ...tense and thoughtful...

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