This true story centers on a young man called Patrick Chamusso (Derek Luke, Glory Road ) who in 1980s apartheid South Africa finds himself radicalized out of a sleep that sets his life on a path he could never have conceived. Patrick is a foreman at a chemical plant when radicals of the African National Congress (ANC) attack. Terrorists. The ensuing investigation by dedicated antiterrorism agent Nic Bos (Tim Robbins) leads to the torture of not only Patrick but also his wife. Now a man who was apolitical becomes the very thing that the government fears.
Timely in theme, Catch a Fire resonates because it is about an issue from a time not so long ago--apartheid ended in 1991--with which we can still identify. It manages a distance that is at once very present: It seems that only the regions of the world and the names in the headlines have changed. But if that were true this movie could not exist, and Peter Chamusso would still be on Robin Island with Nelson Mandela and the like. Hope, ultimately, is the message here. Hope and reconciliation.
Cast: Derek Luke, Tim Robbins and Bonnie Henna
Director: Phillip Noyce
Screenwriter: Shawn Slovo
Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Anthony Minghella and Robyn Slovo
Rating: PG-13 for thematic material involving torture and abuse, violence and brief language
Running time: 102 min.
Release date: October 27