Watch Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema

"Welcome to the promised land."

Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema was based on the Lucky Kunene story which is an underworld figure which during the 90's took over real estate business in Johannesburg, South Africa. The directer/writer Ralph Ziman learned all about the success of this businessman who bought buildings in the Hillbrow neighborhood through Legal Purchases and began to research the phenomenon by interviewing policemen, reporters, social workers, and even lawyers. He discovered that this practice happened to be commonplace. Ziman then wrote his script on the Jerusalema which is based on the rest of his research. 

He stated that when people see Hillbrow from afar, it looks like a shining city atop of a hill that will be the New Jerusalem which will be the nest salvation. However, when people really get a deeper look at the streets, people will find a totally different story. The director used an entire African hymn, "Jerusalema", through the movie, saying the intent, to be quite cynical but also an in-depth story of a continuing sense on hope.

The film starts off with simple smash grabs, along with petty crime. After that Lucky Kunene instantly graduates to even more aggressive heists like carjacking and armed robbery. Soon, Lucky tries to get a bigger score for him to fulfill his many goals of creating a bigger crime, and escaping the slums, to live in his dream house by the ocean. Kunene then hatches a violent and an elaborate plan to make the money to live this type of life, which is to hijack buildings from their landlords in the Johannesburg and win the favor of tenants and hold their rent money hostage from the owners. 

His illegal works then causes police enforcements to learn about his crimes and try to bring him down. The worst crime of Kunene is that he does business with a drug lord, and that causes his life to experience even more quarrels.

| 2008 | 1 hr 59 min | 7.7/10 | 53/100
Ralph Ziman

Watch Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema Trailer

Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema|1:13

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