Most American cinephiles have watched stoner comedies, but I can guarantee they haven’t seen one like this hilarious and charming entry from South Africa. The movie may have had a meager budget, and it most definitely shows. However, the creativity and the can-do spirit that went into this enjoyable film are ever-present. The positive aspects outweigh the negative ones, making Soweto Blaze a great low-fi and entertaining experience.

On the streets of Soweto, a local marijuana dealer aspires to build a more sustainable business. The problem is that he already has a crooked cop on his tail, and his best friends have a rather frustrating penchant for get-rich-quick schemes. Their latest plan involves the abduction of a wealthy young woman who just happens to be the daughter of a powerful and violent drug kingpin. As they carry out their plans, things go very badly when they discover the young lady’s identity and why her father and his fierce soldier are desperate to get her back.

Written and directed by Brad Katzen, Soweto Blaze delivers plenty of laughs and some tense action despite its limitations due to its low budget and the casting of amateurs. I was pleased with the creativity and natural talent the filmmaker and his cast revealed through a homemade, independent feature. Everything in this movie works solidly and reminds me of the heart that has gone into the films of Wakaliwood and Robert Rodriguez’s first feature, El Mariachi.

I don’t know if this movie will ever get a proper release in the United States. Still, I hope more audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy this hysterical South African movie somehow.

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