I stayed up late last night to watch the foreign film TSOTSI, from South Africa (click here to watch the trailer). It won Best Foreign Language film last year at the Oscars. I d recommend it. It is about a young man nicknamed Tsotsi , which means thug . He lives his life, or rather survives, in a township of Johannesburg, caught up in a whirlwind of violence. His life radically alters course when he discovers a baby in the back seat of a car he has stolen.
I think it is one of the most difficult tasks to depict genuine change in a human being within the length of a movie without it feeling cheesy. But this movie accomplishes it well. I call films like this redemptive, meaning that something or someone was somehow saved from their poor condition.
Another film I watched recently that I d recommend is THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA, directed by Tommy Lee Jones (click here to see the trailer). Another beautifully gritty film about the journey from human degradation to redemption.