This was the official website for thew 2012 South African film, Paradise Stop.
The content is from the site's 2012 archived pages and other outside sources.
This is the story of two friends who live their lives on opposite sides of the law. Potso will only drive if the light is green. Ben (Kenneth Nkosi), on the other hand, will go when it suits him.
In any one month thousands of cargo-carrying 16-wheeler trucks move freight north, bound out of South Africa to Zimbabwe and further into the heart of the continent. Near the freeway that links Johannesburg with the country’s northern border, outside a sleepy town in Limpopo province, is Ben Khumalo’s truck stop Paradise Stop, complete with bar, restaurant, and ladies of the night. Ben maintains that he is a legitimate businessman and his establishment is as sharp and clean as one of his suits. However, round the back and under the table there are all kind of shady deals taking place at this meeting point. Paradise Stop is well known as a hangout for shysters and criminals. Ben is a hustler and he wouldn’t let a little thing like the law get in the way of his own needs or those of his customers.
Ben has a happy marriage and a thriving family. His wife, Goodness (Charmaine Kwenyane), knows that he has a shady past in Johannesburg. She was there, and that was in fact where she met him. But Goodness believes that Ben has cleaned up his act. She would kill him if she knew that he was involved in any dodgy dealings today.
Ben’s friend Potso (Rapulana Seiphemo) is a good cop in a rotten system. He has dedicated his life to upholding the law and to catching the bad guys, but so far the bad guys have always eluded him.
Potso is struggling to keep his crumbling marriage from falling apart altogether, whilst fighting a losing battle against crime and corruption at work.
The delicate balance of things is upset when the General (Vusi Kunene), Ben’s boss from his murky Johannesburg past, shows up in town. The series of heists that ensues pits former friends, Ben and Potso, against one another and put everything in the two men’s lives at stake. Both men are faced with a choice between right and wrong, but when the General threatens Goodness and the children, Ben and Potso have to join forces to protect what really matters to them.
The film is peopled with a cast of eccentric characters who find themselves washed up in this remote town – an arrogant mayor, a spirited small-time gangster’s lackey, an easily beguiled desk sergeant, a simple minded swimming pool maintenance man, and a feisty, sexy security investigator who all become embroiled in a madcap comedy-thriller of errors.
Paradise Stop, like White Wedding, is a captivating film with a great sense of humour. It offers an acute but affectionate look into the vibrant ups and downs of life in present day South Africa.
Sunday April 22nd 12:30 pm
Feature Comedy -2011
Run Time 90 minutes
Director: Jann Turner
North American Premiere
Set in a small Limpopo town Paradise Stop, is an hilarious hi-speed action comedy which centres on lives of two big men, the best of friends, but who work on opposite sides of the law. Paradise Stop is a captivating film with a great sense of humour. It offers an acute but affectionate look into the vibrant ups and downs of life in present day South Africa.
From the makers of White Wedding
"THE MOVIE WAS IS WONDERFUL AND EVERYONE KNEW IT, FELT IT." Mail And Guardian By Nedama Brodie
Best Editing: Adam Broer, Tanja Hagen S.A.F.T.A 2012
Rating "PG" Violence
The Making of Paradise Stop.
Set in a small Limpopo town Paradise Stop, is an hilarious hi-speed action comedy which centres on lives of two big men, the best of friends, but who work on opposite sides of the law.
Official trailer of Paradise Stop
Official release in South Africa is 25 March 2011.
by Sihle Mthembu / 17.03.2011
Following the success of White Wedding comes another tale of two friends living in very different realities – this time in Limpopo. Paradise Stop confirms that Jann Turner is one of the most “out of the box” filmmakers we have.
We originally reviewed it here when it showed at the Durban International Film Festival.
Like Turner’s critically acclaimed White Wedding, Paradise Stop is an almost brutal satire on the contemporary South African layman. Set in a small town in Limpopo the film tells the story of two friends on opposite sides of the law and how they fight to keep their sanity and values intact. It might not sound like a new plot but all things considered, in the barren wasteland of South African comedy its an epic shift towards the left.
Starring the two godfathers of Sollywood Rapulana Seiphemo as a cop trying to do the right thing in a bad system, and Kenneth Nkosi is his friend who has to pull off one last job before he can stop being a criminal. Paradise Stop does not boast heavy action sequences and sure-fire gunplay as you would expect of a heist film, but it has subdued moments of intense one on one drama and drizzles of unexpected light humor that are almost reminiscent of the Woody Allen classic Small Time Crooks.
Well-constructed by both Turner’s artistry as well as the immense talent of her cast to carry through the dialogue without sounding pretentious, Paradise Stop is an ambitious film not only as a personal project for Turner, but also for a local film industry which has had to be sensitive about the portrayal of crime and its implications.
The film recycles many familiar faces from White Wedding, but that can be excused in a small industry like ours, where you need the star power of Rapulana and Nkosi to get the mileage required for distribution. But the film also employs a string of local soapie stars like Sonia Sedibe (Generations), Madhuvha Madima (Muvhango) and Keketso Semoko (Isidingo) who drag it down somewhat. Occasionally you find yourself thinking that the characters you are watching are slightly altered versions of their small screen alter egos.
These moments however are few and far between and are often outdone by one liners in the tradition of Red Foxx that will leave you snorting with laughter. One stand out scene is where Detective Potso Mogopudi (Rapulana) is being scolded by his boss for over exerting his powers. Commander Matlaku makes it clear that “you cannot go around town with sirens blazing like the president of the youth league.”
Its moments like these that make Paradise Stop a refreshing breakaway from the somewhat overdone slapstick to which South African audiences have become accustomed. Many critics however have stated that Turner’s style is somewhat informed by the films of grandpa Leon, slating White Wedding as just another buddy movie in the tradition of Zulu on my Stoep. If Schuster does have an influence on Turner it is perhaps more a case of respect than style. Any local filmmaker who can gross millions in South Africa is well worth respecting.
In fact Turner seems to have gone on a tangent with this film, deliberately avoiding too many close ups and musically driven montage sequences. In so doing she forges an intricate mixture of drama and comedy, with a distinctively original signature. Overall Paradise Stop is a film worth watching. Not a Hollywood remake nor a Sollywood half-bake.