Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Catch a Fire

Catch a Fire

4.0 1
Director: Phillip Noyce

Cast: Tim Robbins, Derek Luke, Bonnie Henna

An apolitical South African oil-refinery worker and soccer coach is forced into terrorism as a means of fighting back against the brutality of the apartheid regime in director Phillip Noyce's dramatic look at the life of one-time political prisoner and freedom fighter Patrick Chamusso. In the 1980s, Patrick (Derek


An apolitical South African oil-refinery worker and soccer coach is forced into terrorism as a means of fighting back against the brutality of the apartheid regime in director Phillip Noyce's dramatic look at the life of one-time political prisoner and freedom fighter Patrick Chamusso. In the 1980s, Patrick (Derek Luke) and his wife Precious (Bonnie Henna) lived a peaceful life until one fateful day, when on an overnight trip with his team, Patrick is singled out as the prime suspect in a bombing at the refinery. Placed in solitary confinement, with his wife and family brutalized by government agent Nic Vos (Tim Robbins), the young family man is eventually cleared of charges, but his life is in shambles. Devastated and distraught, Patrick soon begins working as a rebel fighter and political operative for Nelson Mandela's African National Congress. As the oppressed country's powerful apartheid regime continues to torture and torment its citizens, the now-radicalized Patrick must disappear from his family without a trace and go undercover if he is to aid in toppling the system that destroyed his family, and forever changed his outlook on the world.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Catch a Fire fits in well with a recent string of handsomely shot international political thrillers, such as The Quiet American, also directed by Phillip Noyce, and The Constant Gardener. Toss in apartheid and the timely topic of newly radicalized terrorism, and Catch a Fire should have been a surefire Oscar contender. But it fell into relative obscurity because it never quite does what the title suggests -- it never really ignites. Since Noyce has proven quite adept at this type of film, and Derek Luke delivers a smoldering performance in the lead role, the film's lack of oomph may be traceable to its screenwriter. Shawn Slovo, the daughter of South African Communist Party leader Joe Slovo, writes for the second time about members of her own family, after 1988's A World Apart. But her story stumbles into an anticlimax after a wrenching first two acts; she seems to tell it more as historical document than suspenseful narrative. Tim Robbins' Nic Vos suffers from a lack of specificity that feels related. Robbins takes pains to create a morally complex character, rather than a one-dimensional monster, but this choice muddies Vos into something intangible and dramatically lightweight. As a result, the cruel tactics he endorses are crucially underplayed, depriving them of emotional definition. But the gifts of Noyce and Luke do give the film occasional resonance. Noyce, along with a team of mostly undistinguished cinematographers, establishes a real sense of mood and foreboding around these oil refineries, which encroach menacingly on the shanty villages around them. The precise production design extends to Luke, whose authentic appearance seems to have helped him discover an exciting new range and depth. Despite these strengths, Catch a Fire is that most puzzling of underachievers -- it has an unidentifiable missing piece that keeps it from being great.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Focus Features
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Audio commentary with director Phillip Noyce and cast; Deleted scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tim Robbins Nic Vos
Derek Luke Patrick Chamusso
Bonnie Henna Precious Chamusso
Mncedisi Shabangu Zuko September
Tumisho K. Masha Obadi
Sithembiso Khumalo Sixpence
Terry Pheto Miriam
Michele Burgers Anna Vos
Mpho Lovinga Johnny Piliso
Mxo Pete My Baby
Jessica Anstey Katie Vos
Charlotte Savage Marie Vos
Nomhle Nkonyeni Mama Dorothy
Michael Mabizela Shaven Head Bomber
Eduan Van Jaarsveld Special Branch Sergeant
Robert Hobbs Special Branch Lieutenant
Onthatile Ramasodi Chamusso, Lindiwe
Ziizi Mahlati Albertina Chamusso
Malcolm Purkey Joe Slovo
Robyn Slovo Ruth First
Bubu Mazibuko Betsy
Harriet Manamela ANC Swaziland Operative
Susan Danford White Madam
Justin Shaw Young Roadblock Policeman
Anthony Bishop Roadblock Police Commander
Marius Weyers Police Brigadier
Richard Nwamba Mozambican Solider
Vanessa Cooke Widow at Mine Shaft
Martin LeMaitre Border Official
Carel Trichardt South African Minister
Brandon Auret Army Commandant
Sibusiso Mhlongo Passport Photographer
Lennox Mathabathe Angola Military Instructor
Kgosi Mongake Soccer Captain
Eckard Rabe Secunda Security Chief
Dan Robbertse Secunda Security Guard
Ian Roussouw Torture Policeman
Anrich Herbst Torture Policeman
Jet Novuka Black Security Branch Policeman
Waldemar Schultz Secunda Instructor
Mathoto Matsetela Pretty Girl at Phone Booth
Jabulani Ngwenya Soccer Boy
Kgaugelo Mpharala Soccer Player
David Tumahole Mozambican Corporal
Mantele Khomane Dancer at Wedding
Khutjo Mmola Female Railway Bomber
Dexter Nwanya Male Railway Bomber
Kholosa Tshandana Female Cadre with AK47
Mpho Osei Tutu Shanghai
Makgano Mamabolo ANC Woman Typist
Jonathan Pienaar Mechanic in Swaziland
Grant Brett Swanby Roadblock Policeman
Thabo Bopape Security Branch Policeman
Erno Van Dyk Security Branch Policeman
Dirk Vermeulen Security Branch Policeman
Johan Van Der Merwe Security Branch Policeman
Bongani Manok Security Branch Policeman
Mahlubi Kraai Security Branch Policeman
Neels Classen Blonde Policeman
Onalenna Mokoboto Patrick's Son
Patrick Chamusso Patrick Chamusso
Thandiswa ANC Funeral Singer
Zamajobe Sithole Wedding Singer
Fiorha Ntshauba Backup Vocals
Siphokazi Maroqana Backup Vocals
Dolly Gaehler Backup Vocals
Erik Pilani Guitarist
Ezra Erasmus Pianist
Liaan Adriaan Drummer
Michael Phillip Bass Guitarist
David Mbatha Song Leader at Secunda Gates
Sindi Nontshinya Additonal Song Leader
Mirriam "Angela" Doshane Additonal Song Leader
Bongani Dlamini Freedom Singer
Bongani Maseko Freedom Singer
James Zuma Freedom Singer
Joseph Ngobeni Freedom Singer
Khali Phithi Freedom Singer
Malibongwe Yawu Freedom Singer
Sibongiseni Phakathi Freedom Singer
Thabo Magaretsa Freedom Singer
Veli Mavuso Freedom Singer
Vusi Simelane Freedom Singer
Zakhele Mabaso Freedom Singer
Sun Glen Tshabalala Singer
Xandi Van Dijk Conductor

Technical Credits
Phillip Noyce Director
Nick Angel Musical Direction/Supervision
Peter Belcher Camera Operator
Tim Bevan Producer
Jill Bilcock Editor
Johnny Breedt Production Designer
Trevor Brown Camera Operator
Liza Chasin Executive Producer
Miranda Culley Associate Producer
Eric Fellner Producer
Susie Figgis Casting
Ron Fortunato Cinematographer
Debra Hayward Executive Producer
Shira Hockman Set Decoration/Design
Reza Levy Costumes/Costume Designer
Derek Mansvelt Sound/Sound Designer
Cordell McQueen Special Effects Supervisor
Philip Miller Score Composer
Peter Miller Sound Editor
Anthony Minghella Producer
Matthys Mocke Cinematographer
Linda Murdoch Sound Editor
Garry Phillips Cinematographer
Sydney Pollack Executive Producer
Alastair Rae Camera Operator
Robyn Slovo Producer
Shawn Slovo Screenwriter
Stunt SA & SFX Special Effects
Eran Tahor Cinematographer
Leigh Tanchel Asst. Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Catch a Fire
1. Battle for South Africa (Main Titles) [7:24]
2. Police Inspection [4:36]
3. Just One Time Baas [5:20]
4. Target Practice [6:27]
5. Terrorist Attack [2:21]
6. Under Arrest [3:48]
7. Arousing Suspicion [5:04]
8. Sunday Lunch [4:25]
9. False Confession [5:26]
10. Making Things Right [3:40]
11. Fighting for Freedom [4:38]
12. Paperwork [6:17]
13. In the Line of Duty [:18]
14. Training Camp [2:29]
15. Border Crossing [4:21]
16. Drastic Measures [3:30]
17. Evacuate the Plant! [6:31]
18. Capture [5:46]
19. Forgiveness [3:51]
20. End Titles [7:49]


Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Catch a Fire 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
CATCH A FIRE is a very entertaining and instructive film about the 1980s South African problem with Apartheid - a time when the minority white population had political control over the far larger populace of blacks. It is based on a true story of one Patrick Chamusso, a fine working man not affiliated with the growing number of terrorists fighting to unite the black citizens to overthrow the Boers who is driven to alter his life to join the militant party of the African National Congress when he has personal experiences of abuse by the controlling whites. Patrick Chamusso (a fine Derek Luke) supports his wife Precious (Bonnie Mbuli Henna) and two daughters as a foreman at the oil plant. Though the plant is under investigation for terroristacts Chamusso remains adamantely a pacificist. Yet when the conflicted Boer policeman Nic Vos (Tim Robbins) begins to bear down on Chamusso as suspect in a fire explosion at his plant, Chamusso's alibi conceals the fact that while away coaching the plant's boys' soccer team he steals away to see his illegitimate son and ex-girlfriend and this bit of secrecy to protect his wife's feelings causes the explosion with Vos that confines him to jail. Chamusso joins the military branch of the ANC, trains with them, is captured, abused, imprisoned and finally released with the rise of Nelson Mandela. How all of the progress of the story takes place is the pleasure of the fine script by Shawn Slovo and the direction of Phillip Noyce (The Quiet American, Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Bone Collector, Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games etc) who knows how to move these movies along. The cast is excellent, the sense of place (the film was filmed entirely on location) and the production aspects are all superb. The only problem with the film is the 'sell-out' at the end when suddenly we are watching bits and pieces of filmed history and voice over content that seems to diminish the emotional impact of the film. Still, for another opportunity to understand Apartheid and the great country of South Africa, this film is very much worth watching. And Derek Luke, Bonnie Henna and Tim Robbins offer excellent acting skills. Grady Harp