The 30 Best South African Movies You Should Watch

The 30 Best South African Movies You Should Watch. You should check out these South African movies. These South African movies will give you a lot of fun and practice.


South African Movies

1. Why is it so hard to do good (2021)

South African Movies

Director: Katleho Mosia

The lady of his boss became the gardener’s love interest. One year later, the husband’s boss and the man were drinking together and plotting to kill Justin to take his vehicles, house, businesses, and insurance money. One night, the gardener was sound asleep.

In his dream, a voice questioned him, “Why is it so difficult to do good things and so simple to do bad” The hooligan was further instructed by the speaker to return the stolen money to its rightful owner.

When the gardener awoke, he decided to give his former boss twice as much money as he had stolen. Between the gardener’s boss and himself, there was harmony and trust. – South African Movies

2. Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema (2008)

South African Movies

Director: Ralph Ziman

Lucky Kunene soon advances from straightforward smash-and-grabs and minor crimes to more heinous heists like burglary with guns and carjacking. He quickly sees that he wants a higher score to achieve his objectives of becoming successful and leaving the slums for a dream home by the sea.

He comes up with a complex, brutal scheme to make his fortune: by gaining the tenants’ favor, he kidnaps properties from proprietors of Johannesburg tenements, holding their rent hostage.

The nearby law enforcement force is drawn to his significant real estate purchases and is not afraid to use unwarranted violence to take him down. A dramatic standoff results from his legal troubles and a local drug lord’s developing conflict. – South African Movies

3. Plot for Peace (2013)

South African Movies

Director: Carlos Agulló

A driven-by-characters historical thriller about the fall of apartheid, PLOT FOR PEACE is a documentary film. It chronicles the life of Monsieur Jacques, a.k.a. Jean-Yves Ollivier, whose sly negotiations helped remove racial prejudice in South Africa and bring about regional peace.

This is the undisclosed narrative underpinning History, a closely guarded enigma behind the globally renowned icon: Nelson Mandela’s liberation was a strategic maneuver for peace.

In a groundbreaking revelation, leaders of nations, military officials, diplomats, intelligence operatives, and anti-apartheid activists divulge how African frontline states played a pivotal role in dismantling apartheid.

The unlikely catalyst for Mandela’s release from incarceration was an enigmatic French entrepreneur, referred to as “Monsieur Jacques” in confidential communications. His proprietary formula for success was founded on the bedrock of trust. – South African Movies

4. White Wedding (2009)

South African Movies

Director: Jann Turner

Elvis, a devoted and dedicated groom-to-be, departs from Johannesburg to collect his best friend and best man, Tumi, in Durban. Together, they embark on a journey to Cape Town to commence preparations for Elvis’s nuptials to the stunning Ayanda. This heartwarming film explores themes of love, loyalty, intimacy, friendship, and the myriad of challenges that can impede a blissful conclusion. – South African Movies

5. The World Unseen (2007)

South African Movies

Director: Shamim Sarif

In 1950s South Africa, a country deeply divided by apartheid, Amina embodies individuality and freedom. As the proprietor of the Location Café, she provides a welcoming space for all to enjoy food, fun, and festivities.

Amina lives by her own rules, undeterred by the disapproving police and the critical Indian community. In contrast, Miriam adheres to societal conventions and makes no demands on life. She devotes herself to her three children and submits to her chauvinistic husband Omar.

Amina’s business partner, Jacob, is prohibited from owning a business due to his classification as ‘colored’ by the State. He is drawn to Madeleine, a white postmistress, but the discriminatory laws prevent them from pursuing a relationship.

Rehmat, Omar’s sister, defies the rules against mixed marriages by marrying a white man. When she requires protection from the police, Amina shelters her. Miriam is captivated by Amina’s charm and strength of character and secretly rejoices when Amina accepts a farming job in her backyard. – South African Movies

6. The Wound (2017)

South African Movies

Director: John Trengove

The narrative follows the clandestine liaison between two men within the context of the Xhosa initiation rite of Ulwaluko.

Xolani, a laborer, participates in the annual ceremony in the Eastern Cape mountains alongside his community’s men. In addition to serving as a guide to the initiates, Xolani anticipates the occasion as an opportunity to rekindle his intimate and romantic relationship with Vija.

However, when Xolani is tasked with mentoring Kwanda, a young man from Johannesburg, he swiftly realizes that Kwanda is also homosexual, and Kwanda soon becomes aware of the nature of Xolani and Vija’s relationship. Tensions between the trio quickly surface. – South African Movies

7. Boesman and Lena (2000)

Director: John Berry

During the Apartheid era, an elderly “Brown” couple arrived at the Swartkops mud flat near Cape Town on a cold afternoon. They were scavengers who had been forced out of their shanty town that morning by Afrikaners. Carrying their possessions, they had walked all day to reach their destination.

The woman may have been struggling with alcoholism, while the man was prone to anger, having beaten her earlier that day for something she had not done.

Over the next 12 to 15 hours, their relationship was tested as they recalled both happy and tragic events from their past. Lena, against Boesman’s objections, invited an elderly Xhosa tribesman, a Black, to join them in their camp. Boesman was cruel to the old man, while Lena showed kindness. As rain approached, a confrontation ensued. – South African Movies

8. Mandela (1996)

Director: Angus Gibson

This documentary serves as the authorized cinematic portrayal of Nelson Mandela, the inaugural democratically elected leader of a unified South Africa. It delves into his formative years, familial background, educational pursuits, and protracted efforts to secure liberation for all ethnicities within the country, including his incarceration on Robben Island. – South African Movies

9. Life, Above All (2010)

Director: Oliver Schmitz

In the South African township of Elandsdoorn, located near Johannesburg, a strong sense of community pride prevails, but those who deviate from societal norms are met with consequences. Chanda, a diligent 12-year-old student with a promising future, experiences a significant shift in her life when her infant sister unexpectedly passes away, causing her mother, Lillian, to fall gravely ill.

Chanda’s stepfather turns to alcohol, leaving her to care for her younger siblings. As the community becomes increasingly distant and rumors circulate, “Auntie” Tafa attempts to assist by encouraging Lillian to leave town.

However, even she is not immune to the pervasive fear that has taken hold of Elandsdoorn. Chanda suspects that her mother’s illness and her sister’s death are the cause of the community’s irrational ostracism and demands answers, but is met with stubborn silence. Unable to bear the burden of secrecy any longer, Chanda bravely confronts a deeply ingrained, unspoken taboo. – South African Movies

10. Amandla! (2002)

Director: Lee Hirsch

This documentary presents a comprehensive account of the South African liberation movement, highlighting the pivotal role of music in the struggle for freedom. The songs served as a unifying force for the oppressed, providing a means for the fighters to articulate their grievances. Moreover, the music offered solace to those who were incarcerated and facilitated a clandestine mode of communication within the prison walls. – South African Movies

11. Cry, the Beloved Country (1995)

Director: Darrell Roodt

The South African church minister, Steven Kumalo, was summoned from his village to Johannesburg where he discovered that his son, Absolom, had been incarcerated in relation to a robbery that resulted in the death of a white man.

James Jarvis, the father of the deceased, was a proponent of apartheid, the legal segregation of races in South Africa. Upon their encounter, both Kumalo and Jarvis experienced unforeseen revelations not only about their respective sons but also about the essence of their own humanity. – South African Movies

12. The Mangler (1995)

Director: Tobe Hooper

Following an incident involving a folding machine at a historical laundry facility, Detective John Hunton takes it upon himself to conduct an investigation. His inquiry leads him to the proprietor of the establishment, Bill Gartley. In the meantime, the folding machine has developed an appetite for human flesh. – South African Movies

13. A Good Man in Africa (1994)

Director: Bruce Beresford

Tensions between English imperialists and the West African government of Kinjanja have escalated, and the situation is further complicated when British diplomat Morgan Leafy is discovered in a compromising position with Celia, the wife of corrupt Kinjanjan Presidential candidate Sam Adekunle.

As a consequence, Leafy is coerced into offering a bribe to an official who has rejected a project that would greatly benefit Adekunle.

However, Leafy’s troubles are far from over, as he discovers that the only person who has refused to accept the bribe is Kinjanja’s most principled individual, Dr. Alex Murray. In addition, Leafy must navigate the challenges posed by his rigid superior Fanshawe, Fanshawe’s amorous wife Chloe, and their alluring and overly friendly daughter. – South African Movies

14. Samson (2018)

Director: Bruce Macdonald

A man of Hebrew descent, endowed with exceptional strength, is called upon by God to lead his people out of enslavement. Despite his youthful ambition leading to a tragic marriage, his acts of revenge result in direct conflict with the Philistine Army.

As his brother mounts a tribal rebellion, Samson’s relationship with a Philistine seductress and his ultimate surrender to both the Philistines and God, lead to imprisonment and blindness, culminating in a final victory. A narration explains how the Hebrews were punished for their wrongdoing and subjected to the brutal rule of the Philistines, who were collecting food from them.

Samson, a member of the tribe of Dan, and his brother Caleb attempt to steal food while Samson entertains with riddles, but they are caught and chased by Philistine soldiers.

Meanwhile, Prince Rallah of the Philistines kills a Hebrew named Tobias for requesting more food. Upon returning home, Samson’s parents urge him to fight back against the Philistines, as he was chosen to do so from birth. However, Samson prefers peace and is hesitant to engage in conflict. – South African Movies

15. The Gods Must Be Crazy II (1989)

Director: Jamie Uys

Xixo makes a triumphant return in this latest installment, as his children inadvertently find themselves aboard a poachers’ truck hurtling through the wilderness. Determined to rescue them, Xixo embarks on a perilous journey, encountering a diverse cast of characters along the way.

Among them are a pair of soldiers engaged in a tense standoff, as well as a pilot and passenger struggling with their own challenges. Ultimately, six individuals converge in the Kalahari desert: a New York City lawyer traveling with a local zoologist and pilot in a small aircraft, a Cuban and an African soldier locked in a prisoner-of-war situation, a Boer elephant poacher, and a Bushman searching for his missing offspring. – South African Movies


16. Sarafina! (1992)

Director: Darrell Roodt

As the tensions of apartheid began to spread across South Africa, a number of students initiated a revolt in the form of a massive stone-throwing demonstration.

This protest was in response to the introduction of Afrikaans as a means of teaching, and it sparked riots among school-aged young people who were determined to do whatever it took to secure their freedom.

In the township of Soweto, a group of students, led by the intelligent and charismatic Sarafina, devised a plan to rise up against the apartheid regime by vehemently rejecting the proposal to use Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

This decision angered the white population and resulted in widespread unrest among the students and their supporters. Meanwhile, Sarafina’s mother accepted a job as a housekeeper in a white household, which further incensed Sarafina.

As the unrest continued and the students faced possible torture and trial, Sarafina was eventually released from prison. She reunited with some of her colleagues and composed a powerful anthem entitled “Freedom is Coming Tomorrow.” – South African Movies

17. Eye in the Sky (2015)

Director: Gavin Hood

Colonel Katherine Powell, a British military officer, is collaborating with her American counterparts and the Kenyan military to execute an operation aimed at capturing the Number 2, 3, and 5 terrorists on the American list of most wanted terrorists in East Africa.

The group includes British nationals Susan Helen Danford, now known as Ayesha Al-Hady, her husband, a recently radicalized young man who just arrived from the U.K., and a radicalized American.

However, the plan to capture the group is disrupted when they suddenly relocate to a new location, prompting Powell to consider a kill mission as Plan B. This decision sparks a debate among those in charge, including Powell’s commanding officer Lieutenant General Frank Benson, a junior minister, the British Attorney General, and the U.S. Secretary of State, who is in China.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Steve Watts is operating the U.S. drone from the U.S. Midwest and will be responsible for pulling the trigger if the kill mission is approved.

However, the situation becomes complicated when a young girl selling bread appears in the “kill zone.” The decision to proceed with the mission, knowing that there will be collateral damage, is a matter of great concern and deliberation. – South African Movies

18. District 9 (2009)

Director: Neill Blomkamp

In 1982, a colossal spacecraft carrying a bedraggled alien population colloquially referred to as “The Prawns,” descended upon Johannesburg, South Africa. However, after twenty-eight years, the initial warm reception by the human population has waned.

The refugee camp that once housed the aliens has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto known as District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalid conditions. In 2010, Multi-National United, a munitions corporation, was contracted to forcibly remove the population, with Wikus van der Merwe leading the operation.

During the course of this mission, Wikus is exposed to a peculiar alien chemical and must rely on the assistance of his only two new ‘Prawn’ acquaintances. – South African Movies

19. Safe House (2012)

Director: Daniel Espinosa

Tobin Frost, a former CIA agent suspected of going rogue, has taken refuge in Cape Town, South Africa. Pursued by unknown assailants, Frost seeks refuge at the American Consulate, where he surrenders himself to authorities.

Upon learning of Frost’s surrender, the CIA decides to transfer him to a secure location in Cape Town for interrogation. However, the safe house is soon compromised, resulting in the deaths of all personnel except for Matt Weston, the agent tasked with safeguarding Frost.

With no other options, Weston and Frost flee, and during their escape, Frost reveals that the attack on the safe house was an inside job. Frost eventually escapes, leaving Weston to report to Langley. However, Weston recalls a crucial detail that Frost had shared, leading him to track down Frost’s whereabouts.

Just as Weston arrives, the assailants catch up to them, but Weston manages to save Frost and they continue their escape. Despite their successful evasion, Weston remains suspicious of Frost’s motives. – South African Movies

20. My Octopus Teacher (2020)

Director: Pippa Ehrlich

Craig Foster, an experienced swimmer who has been braving the frigid waters of the southernmost point of Africa for years, encounters an unexpected mentor in the form of a young octopus who exhibits exceptional inquisitiveness.

Over the course of several months, Foster diligently observes the creature’s movements and frequents her abode, ultimately earning her trust and establishing an unprecedented connection between man and untamed beast.

Through this unique relationship, a filmmaker gains insight into the enigmatic realm of a South African kelp forest, as the octopus imparts the secrets of her domain. – South African Movies

21. Momentum (I) (2015)

Director: Stephen S. Campanelli

A group of four well-equipped individuals successfully carried out a diamond heist from a safety deposit box at a bank in Cape Town, South Africa. However, a disagreement arose between two of the robbers, resulting in the unmasking of one of the female members, Alexis Faraday, who subsequently killed her fellow thief.

The remaining three robbers fled the scene in a van, with Alexis and her partner Kevin Fuller seeking refuge in a hotel, while Doug MacArthur returned home. Tragically, Kevin was later brutally murdered by a gang of criminals led by Mr. Washington.

It was revealed that they had been hired by an American Senator, portrayed by Morgan Freeman, to retrieve a flash drive that had been hidden with the diamonds.

Alexis, a former CIA agent, was then pulled back into the world of thievery by her former partner for one last heist, only to discover that it was never just about the diamonds. A violent murder sets off a dangerous game of cat and mouse between Alexis and a skilled assassin, forcing her to uncover the truth behind the heist and the individuals who have made her a target. – South African Movies

22. Death Race 2 (2010 Video)

Director: Roel Reiné

Following an unsuccessful bank robbery, the proficient getaway driver Carl “Luke” Lucas is sentenced to Terminal Island, a maximum security correctional facility, where he is forced to participate in the Death Match – a profitable pay-per-view gladiator TV series owned by the Weyland Corporation.

However, the unyielding TV producer September Jones seeks to increase profits by introducing the Death Race – a perilous car race where the most dangerous inmates compete in heavily modified vehicles. Carl is faced with a choice: win five races to secure his freedom or remain imprisoned indefinitely. – South African Movies

23. Young Ones (2014)

Director: Jake Paltrow

Holm, a farmer who, along with his children Jerome and Mary, battles against marauding bandits and works tirelessly to restore the soil to its former productivity.

However, Mary’s boyfriend, Flem Lever, has his sights set on Ernest’s land and will stop at nothing to acquire it. Writer/director Jake Paltrow’s innovative three-part futuristic western weaves together elements of Greek tragedy with a hauntingly beautiful narrative that is deeply rooted in the values of the American West. – South African Movies

24. Love, Sex and 30 Candles (2023)

Director: Stephina Zwane

Ernest Holm, a hardened survivor of Earth’s resource depletion, struggles to maintain his farm and protect his family from bandits while working to rejuvenate the soil. However, his daughter’s boyfriend, Flem Lever, has ulterior motives and will stop at nothing to acquire Ernest’s land. – South African Movies

25. Girl from Nowhere (2017)

Director: Mark Jackson

Hugh and Kate, a couple from Cape Town who were previously quarreling, were en route to their weekend retreat in the Cederberg when they encountered a young girl hitchhiking by the roadside. Despite Katherine’s initial suspicion of the girl’s appearance in tight denim “Daisy Duke” shorts, they decided to offer her a ride at Hugh’s insistence.

The girl, Liza, was hesitant to share personal information but did mention that she was from an unknown planet and was en route to nowhere. After noticing her hunger, they invited her to lunch at Katherine’s home, unaware of the potential danger they were inviting into their lives. – South African Movies

26. Slumber Party Massacre (2021)

Director: Danishka Esterhazy

In 1993, Trish Devereaux hosted a slumber party with her friends Jackie, Kim, and Diane in a cabin located in Holly Springs, California. Trish’s ex-boyfriend, Chad, arrived uninvited and witnessed the girls dancing through the window.

Chad began to masturbate when he saw a strange figure on the other side of the cabin. The figure was Russ Thorn, a notorious killer who used a power drill to murder Chad. Russ then proceeded to enter the cabin and killed Kim and Diane.

Trish attempted to prevent Jackie from opening the front door, but Russ drilled her in the throat, resulting in her death. Despite being injured, Trish manages to escape from Russ by striking him with an oar, causing him to fall into the lake. Although it was believed that Russ drowned, his body was never found. – South African Movies

27. 24 Hours to Live (2017)

Director: Brian Smrz

Travis Conrad is a former mercenary agent who was employed by the notorious Red Mountain agency. He currently resides in Florida with his father-in-law, Frank, as he mourns the loss of his beloved wife, Kate, and son, Adam.

One evening, while drinking at a bar, Travis is approached by his former partner and friend, Jim Morrow, who offers him a substantial sum of two million dollars per day to assassinate the former agent, Keith Zera.

Zera is a whistleblower who intends to reveal secrets about the Red Mountain agency and is currently under the protection of the efficient Interpol agent, Lin Bisset. Despite the risks, Travis accepts the assignment and uses Lin’s son, Christopher, to obtain information about Zera’s whereabouts. – South African Movies

28. I Am All Girls (2021)

Director: Donovan Marsh

“I Am All Girls” is a 2021 South African mystery thriller film that has been directed by Donovan Marsh and written by Emile Leuvennink and Marcell Greeff, with additional writing credits by Jarrod de Jong, Wayne Fitzjohn, and Donovan Marsh.

The film is based on true events, but it also incorporates fictionalized elements. Starring Erica Wessels, Hlubi Mboya, and Masasa Mbangeni, the movie follows the story of Detective Jodie Snyman and her colleague Ntombizonke Bapai as they race against time to track down members of an apartheid-era sex trafficking syndicate who are being murdered one by one by an unknown serial killer. – South African Movies

29. Gaia (2021)

Director: Jaco Bouwer

During a surveillance operation in a primitive forest, a park ranger comes across two individuals who are living a post-apocalyptic lifestyle and appear to have a deep connection with nature. The father and son duo exhibit a religious devotion to their way of life, which raises several questions about their existence.

However, when the cabin they reside in is attacked by post-human entities, the ranger realizes that there is a more significant danger lurking in this emerging wilderness. Subsequently, an injured forest ranger on a routine mission is rescued by two survivalists who live off the grid.

Initially, the rescue seems like a welcome gesture, but the ranger becomes increasingly suspicious as the father and son reveal their cult-like reverence for the forest. The situation takes a turn for the worse when their cabin is attacked by an unknown entity, highlighting the presence of a severe threat in this unforgiving wilderness. – South African Movies

30. Moffie (2019)

Director: Oliver Hermanus

Drawing inspiration from André Carl van der Merwe’s literary work, Moffie, the narrative delves into the life of Nicholas van der Swart, who, from a tender age, grapples with his sexual orientation. Despite his best efforts, he is unable to conform to the stereotypical masculine persona that his family and cultural background expect of him.

At the age of 19, he is drafted into the South African army, where he is appalled by the oppressive system that is on the brink of collapse but still in operation. Against the backdrop of the South African border war against communism, this poignant tale sheds light on the emotional and physical anguish that countless young men endured, a story that has long been overdue. – South African Movies