Directed by Oliver Schmitz
Oliver Schmitz
Film Movement Classics
104 Minutes
South Africa
English, Zulu, Afrikaans
Classics, Black Cinema, Crime, Drama
Not Rated
Theatrical booking
Erin Farrell
Festival and non-theatrical booking
Erin Farrell
Materials and print traffic
Erin Farrell


During demonstrations in apartheid-era South Africa, the police arrest Panic (Thomas Mogotlane), a “mapantsula” or petty gangster, while rounding up activists. His interrogation reveals the motivation for his involvement in the township riots. Once only concerned with partying, alcohol and his own interests, Panic finds himself being irreversibly pulled into the fray. Now, he is forced to choose between his personal freedom and taking a stand in the fight against the oppressive apartheid government.

Directed by Oliver Schmitz and written by Schmitz and lead actor Thomas Mogotlane, MAPANTSULA has been hailed as the “first South African film to truly represent apartheid onscreen” (Okayafrica). Banned in its homeland and made while evading the local authorities, the film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes and went on to be selected as the South African entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. Widely considered one of the most influential African motion pictures of all time, MAPANTSULA has been newly restored in 4K from the original 35MM negative.

Hi Res Photos