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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Representations of crime, power and social decay in the South African post-colony in the film 'Gangster's paradise: Jerusalema' (2008)
Author:Khan, Khatija
Periodical:Communicatio: South African journal for communication theory and research (ISSN 1753-5379)
Geographic term:South Africa
race relations
political conditions
social inequality
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02500167.2016.1167754
Abstract:The film 'Gangster's paradise: Jerusalema', released on August 29, 2008, decries the proliferation of crime, violence and social decay in the South African post-colony. The aim of this article is to interrogate the banality in the use of violence and power in the South African post-colony. The filmic narratives of 'Gangster's paradise: Jerusalema' reveal that behind the 'rainbow' facade presented by South Africa, one encounters festering poverty in 'non-white' communities, racial acrimony, broken promises, social and class struggles, and tales of betrayal of the majority of black people by the elite black leadership which now sit comfortably in the seats vacated by their former colonisers. An analysis of the narratives of the film 'Gangster's paradise: Jerusalema' permits one to locate apartheid-based economic disparities as still haunting mainly 'non- white' local communities, although some whites have not been spared by the vicious new normal of poverty and the effects of corruption. This interpretation is further questioned in the film which shows that, after apartheid, the nationalist leadership encouraged a negative culture of entitlement. The irony in the film is that the masses are also tainted in so far as they commit crimes against other ordinary people and refuse to take responsibility or, rather in an escapist way, blame all the woes of the post-colony on apartheid. Thus, the narratives of 'Gangster's paradise: Jerusalema' beg the question: What is going wrong with the dream of democracy for all, irrespective of race, that was the founding principle of the new nation?. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]