When a misunderstanding draws an apolitical man into deadly altercation with the police, it sparks South Africa's first anti-apartheid uprising. As a moment of racist stupidity explodes into a weekend of hell, he is forced to choose between vengeful anger and a growing sense of what's worth fighting for and how...
New Brighton Township, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 1952. Ruddy, a once-promising boxer, tolerates the daily grind of township life under apartheid with a steadfast commitment to minding his own business.
Using the simple mantra of “no problems – just good times", Ruddy - along with best friend, Tsipo - keeps clear of growing political tensions, resulting from the state's crackdown on the ANC's peaceful Defiance Campaign. Even when foreboding signs of police aggression result in his own humiliation, Ruddy chooses acceptance over anger.
When, however, a racially fuelled misunderstanding over a tin of paint results in Tsipo's unnecessary killing by aggressively primed railway policemen, Ruddy joins in the ensuing riot, driven by a vengeful anger. As a moment of police idiocy explodes into South Africa's first anti-apartheid uprising, Ruddy will find himself at the heart of an increasingly violent riot - forcing a clear choice of what he's prepared to fight for and how.
Over the next twelve hours, New Brighton – Port Elizabeth’s peaceful “model township” – will explode in anger. In a fateful night, Ruddy will finally discover the latent depths of his outrage – but also the active courage of his humanity.
A drunken vagrant will find his compassion. An Anglican minister will find his voice. A Jewish shopkeeper will lose everything he’s built. And five white people operating New Brighton’s Rio Cinema will find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Outrageous acts of cruelty will be matched by astounding acts of humanity. Bigotry will be met with dignity. Anguish and terror will be matched by kindness and decency. And a people long oppressed will begin to fight back.
Hitherto forgotten by history, this is that remarkable story…