The film tells the story of "Panic" (Thomas Mogotlane), a petty gangster who inevitably becomes caught up in the growing anti-apartheid struggle and has to choose between individual gain and a united stand against the system. The film's use of flashbacks between Panic's time at the hands of his apartheid jailor 'Stander' (Marcel van Heerden) and happenings in the Johannesburg township of Soweto display the injustices black South Africans suffered during apartheid and their struggle for suffrage. The film depicts political rallies, police brutality and racial difference to give examples of the effects of apartheid on black South Africans. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival. The film was selected as the South African entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 62nd Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.
The cast includes: Thomas Mogotlane ("Panic", real name being "Johannes Themba Mzolo"), Marcel van Heerden ("Stander"), Thembi Mtshali ("Pat"), Dolly Rathebe ("Ma Modise"), Peter Se-Puma ("Duma Sithole"), Darlington Michaels ("Dingaan"), Eugene Majola ("Sam Modise"), Gabriel Dichwabe (crowd leader), Brad Morris (riot policeman), Polite Dlamini (prisoner), Duma Nyembe (prisoner), Jerry Mokgoko (policeman), Similo Makhambi (charge office sergeant), Boitumelo Dijoe (sergeant), Arthur Molepo (warder) and Michael Copley (businesman).
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