Silverton Siege is a 2022 South-African movie based on real-life events and history in Silverton, Pretoria in 1980. An original story captivating action-thriller, the history between the European countries that colonized South Africa and the fight for independence, the fights would have been the release of Nelson Mandela and the freedom of the nation.
The Silverton Siege…
In a fight for freedom, Calvin Khumalo and his comrades grew up in apartheid South Africa (the most unequal society). They joined the liberation movement and follows on June 16 upsprings. With the main objective of “making the country ungovernable”. They chose violence with no civilian casualties.
They set up a plan to take oil, and power from the seahorse oil depot. On that day, they were ready on the bus waiting for their driver to bring in the vehicle. Unknowingly to them, it was a setup. Calvin realized that an informant sabotaged their plan. They entered the bus and speed off in a haste.
The cops chased after them and they had a car accident which caused the death of Masego (a comrade). Terra was in pain as Masego is her love, she couldn’t leave him behind but Calvin dragged her along. They run through a tunnel and ended up in the streets, exchanging gunshots with the cops while running. Aldo almost got caught but as a team, Calvin and Terra had his back and they ran still there was no place to go. The cops surrounded them, they had no choice but to enter the nearest building which was the bank.
In the bank…
There was no way out except for the front door and the cops were waiting outside. Surrender is not something they consider, they decided to keep hostages and request what they want “Freedom”. In a safe bargain, they got a helicopter to leave the bank. The cops set them up by putting a pilot with tags to know their location and hear their discussion, they felt betrayed and went back inside the bank. In spite of every event, they were confused and needed to know who sold them out and why.
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Calvin questioned the pilot to know who the informant was but got no details. Aldo, (a comrade) talks with Calvin and blames it on their dead member, Masego. In an interaction between Calvin and one of the hostages, Mandela was mentioned when Calvin got an idea. Calvin had always looked up to Mandela because he was fighting for justice and freedom of rights. Afterward, he planned and decided to strike another deal with the cops. Aldo and Terra were not quite sure of the plan because they were scared it won’t work out but they trust their leader so they believed.
In this deal, they want the immediate release of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, all charges dropped and a presidential pardon from the prime minister. Calvin gave the cops one hour to deliver and release in full public view before they will surrender. The head of the cop (captain Langerman) said, it was a tall order and Calvin asked him “What is the price for freedom“?.
For freedom, the price is everything and anything. However, they gathered a huge part of the money and burnt it outside sending a message to the world “Free Nelson Mandela!“. Society in response started screaming “Power to the People“. Calvin said a quote from Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it’s done” that’s why he believed in his movement to free him.
Meanwhile, it is interesting how they communicate in different languages, Afrikaans, Zulu, English, and in Sotho. This movie showed various cultures, various tribes, and various people coming from other parts of the world or society in South Africa. The request in the bank for food and water became serious so Calvin had to ask the cops to supply it. It was at that moment, that Aldo had an altercation with the pilot because he threaten to touch Aldo’s family so Aldo killed him and made it look like self-defense.
Finally, there was a supply of food and water for the hostages, and Calvin releases two hostages. He burnt more money and waited for the request to be granted. Captain Langerman handed a letter to Calvin that declares the release of Mandela and a pardon from the prime minister but they aren’t sure. Langerman needs verification on whether the hostages are safe and alive so they let him into the bank to check.
He saw everyone but insisted on taking the Minister’s daughter (Christine) but she refused to go. Everything was okay until Terra (a comrade) found out that, the captain’s name is Langerman. Aside from Calvin, it was only Aldo that knows that. In no time, she realized that it was Aldo that sold them out. Aldo betrayed them and Terra shot him dead rather than let him explain. Calvin was certain the letter was all a lie and asked Langerman to leave. Langerman was certain of what Calvin Khumalo is doing and told the officials, “Calvin is fighting for justice and surely don’t want to lose more people”.
Christine comforted Calvin and listened to him. Calvin poured out his pain and frustration to her. They went out of the bank and she told the cops the message Calvin and his comrades are sending. She urged her father to do something about the situation. In a heated moment, she smiles and shouted “Free him, Free Nelson Mandela!“. At that time, a sniper fired at her and she died.
Devastated by what happened, they realized that there is no safety in society. Some disguised as white but are black, appreciated their culture more and understand the fight that the trios are undergoing. Calvin heartbroken, tells a story about his childhood, how bad it was, how the police treated them, and what happened to his parents. All of these lead to him choosing to join the liberation movement.
Regardless of what’s going on, Langerman calls to tell Calvin that things are getting out of control and that the officials will storm their way into the bank with the SWAT team. Calvin released the hostages to go and the shot out begins and ends with Calvin and Terra’s gunshots.
Furthermore, on 11th February 1990, Nelson Mandela was released and he became South Africa’s first black president in 1994.
Watch Silverton Siege on Netflix
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