At the end of the Rainbow: Jerusalema and the South African gangster film

 

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dc.contributor.author Marx, Lesley
dc.date.accessioned 2017-05-18T07:28:01Z
dc.date.available 2017-05-18T07:28:01Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17533171003787388
dc.identifier.citation Marx, L. (2010). At the end of the rainbow: Jerusalema and the South African gangster film. Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, 11(3), 261-278.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/24356
dc.identifier.uri http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17533171003787388
dc.description.abstract Between Oliver Schmitz’s Mapantsula, released in 1988, and Ralph Ziman’s Jerusalema, released twenty years later, lies the history of a country torn apart by systematic racist oppression for half a century. Reborn under the sign of truth and reconciliation, the brave new world carries not only the scars of the old, but has given birth to mutations of poverty, disease, crime and rampant violence. Since the glory days of classic Hollywood, when Cagney, Raft, Robinson and Bogart scowled their way across the screen, the gangster film has been the genre par excellence to engage with these themes of economic inequity and class stratification, and to explore the possibilities of violence both to transform and to destroy.1 The genre emerged as a powerful expression of economic frustration during the Depression, a period that challenged the founding ideals of America as well as the preferred image of American heroic masculinity forged on the frontier. The gangster as self-made man, in search of the pot of gold, has been inscribed into different plots: on the one hand, he (invariably ‘‘he’’) plays the system in order to control it and have the freedom to become legitimate (The Godfather films [1972–1990] are an example). Or he plays the system too recklessly and brings about his own destruction: one thinks of Tony Montana, collapsing into paranoia, snorting a pile of cocaine as bullets rain through his mansion in De Palma’s baroque Scarface (1983). Alternatively, he plays the game too conspicuously, like Frank Lucas in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster (2007): Lucas breaks his rule not to attract attention by his dress, and becomes, literally, a marked man.
dc.language.iso eng
dc.source Safundi : journal of South African and American studies
dc.source.uri http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rsaf20/current
dc.title At the end of the Rainbow: Jerusalema and the South African gangster film
dc.type Journal Article en_ZA
dc.date.updated 2016-01-08T08:42:10Z
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Article en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Centre for Film and Media Studies en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Marx, L. (2010). At the end of the Rainbow: Jerusalema and the South African gangster film. <i>Safundi : journal of South African and American studies</i>, http://hdl.handle.net/11427/24356 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Marx, Lesley "At the end of the Rainbow: Jerusalema and the South African gangster film." <i>Safundi : journal of South African and American studies</i> (2010) http://hdl.handle.net/11427/24356 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Marx L. At the end of the Rainbow: Jerusalema and the South African gangster film. Safundi : journal of South African and American studies. 2010; http://hdl.handle.net/11427/24356. en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Journal Article AU - Marx, Lesley AB - Between Oliver Schmitz’s Mapantsula, released in 1988, and Ralph Ziman’s Jerusalema, released twenty years later, lies the history of a country torn apart by systematic racist oppression for half a century. Reborn under the sign of truth and reconciliation, the brave new world carries not only the scars of the old, but has given birth to mutations of poverty, disease, crime and rampant violence. Since the glory days of classic Hollywood, when Cagney, Raft, Robinson and Bogart scowled their way across the screen, the gangster film has been the genre par excellence to engage with these themes of economic inequity and class stratification, and to explore the possibilities of violence both to transform and to destroy.1 The genre emerged as a powerful expression of economic frustration during the Depression, a period that challenged the founding ideals of America as well as the preferred image of American heroic masculinity forged on the frontier. The gangster as self-made man, in search of the pot of gold, has been inscribed into different plots: on the one hand, he (invariably ‘‘he’’) plays the system in order to control it and have the freedom to become legitimate (The Godfather films [1972–1990] are an example). Or he plays the system too recklessly and brings about his own destruction: one thinks of Tony Montana, collapsing into paranoia, snorting a pile of cocaine as bullets rain through his mansion in De Palma’s baroque Scarface (1983). Alternatively, he plays the game too conspicuously, like Frank Lucas in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster (2007): Lucas breaks his rule not to attract attention by his dress, and becomes, literally, a marked man. DA - 2010 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town J1 - Safundi : journal of South African and American studies LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2010 T1 - At the end of the Rainbow: Jerusalema and the South African gangster film TI - At the end of the Rainbow: Jerusalema and the South African gangster film UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/24356 ER - en_ZA


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