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Otelo Burning

Otelo Burning (2012)

tomatometer

80

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 75

My Rating

Movie Info

Defying the law, three Zulu boys escape their harsh township lives through the joy of surfing. Overcoming his traditional fear of the water, Otelo Buthelezi discovers a natural talent, finding freedom on the waves. But in the turmoil of a country on the cusp of change, he is dragged down into a spiral of jealousy and violence. As Nelson Mandela finally walks free, Otelo must choose between two worlds. Otelo Burning is based on real events. It is a moving drama of courage, love, betrayal and

Unrated,

Drama

James Whyle, Sara Blecher

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All Critics (9) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (3)

Somehow, mostly through the impassioned performances of its young actors, the film finds its footing in the third act ...

November 30, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A heavy-handed but forceful coming-of-age story set circa 1989, against the backdrop of the violent beginning of apartheid's end ...

November 29, 2012 Full Review Source: NPR
NPR
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This crisp, involving South African drama comes at you in waves, changing course and tone expertly.

November 29, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
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This South African ditty is even framed as a scrapbook, mushily remembering childhood traumas and exaltations.

November 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ms. Blecher draws fine performances out of the young actors and, to her credit, sugarcoats nothing.

November 8, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As buoyant as the waves its heroes surf on, Otelo Burning uses water as metaphor for freedom for its black South African teens in 1988.

November 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The film grows increasingly tiresome the more it flirts with melodrama, unraveling themes of jealousy, regret, and ambition in broad strokes.

November 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

A movie in which there is nothing but its unsentimental look at the waning days of apartheid to make it seem unlike a dozen other inspirational sports movies.

October 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

A memorable story about kids who hold bigger dreams than what they are told and taught they could accomplish.

September 24, 2012 Full Review Source: BET.com
BET.com

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Foreign Titles

  • Otelo-Der Preis Der Freiheit (DE)
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