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.
Somehow, mostly through the impassioned performances of its young actors, the film finds its footing in the third act ...
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A heavy-handed but forceful coming-of-age story set circa 1989, against the backdrop of the violent beginning of apartheid's end ...
This crisp, involving South African drama comes at you in waves, changing course and tone expertly.
| Original Score: 3/5
Ms. Blecher draws fine performances out of the young actors and, to her credit, sugarcoats nothing.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
A memorable story about kids who hold bigger dreams than what they are told and taught they could accomplish.
| Original Score: B
This South African ditty is even framed as a scrapbook, mushily remembering childhood traumas and exaltations.
The film grows increasingly tiresome the more it flirts with melodrama, unraveling themes of jealousy, regret, and ambition in broad strokes.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
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.
| Original Score: 5/10