Silverton Siege Is A Thrilling Part Of South African History Brought To Live (Again)

Silverton Siege

The fight for freedom is never an easy one. What did it cost the guys behind the Silverton siege? Everything!

Knowing that it cost them everything, the bigger question now is, was it worth it?

According to the story (based on real-life events), the crew behind the Silverton siege, comprising Calvin, Terra, and Aldo, had only one ask – that Nelson Mandela is freed from prison. This request may not have been granted immediately but it did happen three eventually. Mandela, as we all know, went on to become the first black South African president. He lived and he died fulfilled.

So, I reiterate – How much of everything was everything for these ‘freedom fighters’?

Were their lives worth the siege?

Looks like it was.

The apartheid rule was such a scary time in South African history that the words of Calvin, the ring leader of the crew, gives a little introspection into what was obtainable back then – if caught “there’s no prison for us. It’s the ropes.”

Silverton Siege being adapted from real-life events already means it has a high sentimental value, especially for those with direct ties to South Africa. It is the retelling of one of the most pivotal moments in the country’s history, 42 years down the line. But take away the shiny parts of the movie and you’d see that this fast-paced action thriller struggles with having enough substance to fill up its moderate –100 minutes– runtime.

The first few minutes were exciting; the chase through the city of Silverton, Pretoria caused my heart to leap with a healthy mixture of fear and excitement. I was scared for these characters I’d just met and couldn’t wait to learn more about them. Once they got into the bank, I hoped the real story would begin, and it did, but what we got was a repetitive, on-the-low version of what was obtainable and very much possible. The mid-strength of the screenplay, although better than one would typically get from the African continent, started to show. The actors tried to support the movie as much as they could, but their exaggerated acting performances every now and then, coupled with the struggling parts of the screenplay, made it a chore to stay connected all the way.

With all I’ve said above, should you still go ahead and watch Silverton Siege? It’s a YES from me. Despite its shortcomings, Silverton Siege is still a powerful movie with solid production value and strong social commentary that is still relevant now as it was at the time the movie is set in. The cinematography also gets applause for making everything look good and heightened

I strongly believe that on the continent of Africa, South African filmmakers make some of the best productions. Look at the technicalities of their outputs and base it against the Netflix platform that has (sort of) created a level ground for healthy competition across most of the continent, and you’d know this is true. Even with the shaky parts where the Silverton Siege film crew faltered, their Nigerian counterparts could still learn a thing or two.


Rating: 3/5

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