Director: Phillip Noyce
Director Phillip Noyce is no stranger to dramatic political thrillers, having been at the helm of the big screen versions of Tom Clancy adaptations as well as two excellent critically acclaimed sleepers, Rabbit-Proof Fence and The Quiet American. In this film, produced by fellow directors Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, Noyce brings the shocking true story of a young South African man wrongly accused of being a terrorist. Antwone Fisher star Derek Luke is mesmerizing as Patrick Chamusso, a devoted father, husband, and village soccer coach working at the Secunda Oil Refinery during the height of the 1980 apartheid devastation in his country. After wrongful imprisonment, torture and intimidation that left both him and wife Precious brutalized by a group of anti-terror specialists including leader Tim Robbins (in another creepy role reminiscent of his fine work in Arlington Road), Chamusso joins up with the African National Congress to seek vengeance. Catch a Fire is a disturbing and taut thriller (possibly overlooked in theaters due to its coinciding release with the flashier, powerhouse Oscar contender The Last King of Scotland) but it’s both excellent and timely with Derek Luke proving once again that he’s a star to watch in the future.