Silverton Siege Trailer: A Tense Hostage Thriller Explores The Origins Of The Free Mandela Movement

Between film and TV, there are more than enough examples of hostage negotiations gone wrong. Just last week Netflix released "Windfall," a prime example of how tense situations can bring out the worst in people. But every now and then, being cornered can be a source of great inspiration: so was the case for one infamous trio of South African freedom fighters. Arriving on Netflix next month, "Silverton Siege" dramatizes the events that took place on January 25 in 1980, when a bank was taken hostage by rebels, inspiring a movement that would lead to Nelson Mandela's release from prison.

Set in 1980, the film sees three young freedom fighters escaping from the police after an anti-apartheid strike gone wrong leads them to hole up in a nearby bank (in Silverton), taking the customers hostage for security. As police surround the bank, the bid for temporary shelter evolves into something greater and the trio demands the release of Nelson Mandela in exchange for the hostages. Mandela's fight for equality and efforts to topple the racist apartheid system landed the revolutionary in prison; at this point, he had served 18 years of his life imprisoned. With the core belief that none of their people could be free so long as any of them was in chains, the Silverton trio demanded his immediate release. Little did they know their actions would give birth to a global movement. As all hostage negotiation situations guarantee, tensions run high on both sides, and based on the trailer, the result is an epic, high-octane film.

Silverton Siege trailer

"Silverton Siege" is directed by ​​South African filmmaker, writer, and award-winning cinematographer Mandla Dube, known for helming the Netflix series "Jiva!" and the 2016 film, "Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu." Of his upcoming release, Dube said (via Variety):

"'Silverton Siege' is my strongest work thus far, the hope is that filmmakers from Africa are given more opportunities at decolonizing the narrative of who we are. I also hope that the youth of today can draw inspiration from the Silverton Siege trio, and know that they have the power to change the status quo, and most importantly that their stories matter."

The film has no shortage of South African heavyweight talent, including Thabo Rametsi, Noxolo Dlamini, and Stefan Erasmus as the Silverton Siege trio — the three young freedom fighters who risked their lives kickstarting a movement. "Silverton Siege" also stars Tumisho Masha, Michelle Mosalakae, and Elani Dekker. Producers include Pambili Media and EPs Dube and Walter Ayres.

"Silverton Siege" arrives to the streamer on South Africa's Freedom Day, April 27, 2022. Below is an official synopsis.

While on a high-profile mission to sabotage a petrol depot, a trio of freedom fighters, Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), realize they have been set up, with police ready and waiting to arrest them. A fierce and deadly chase ensues which sees them seeking shelter inside a Bank. The Trio are all in agreement that someone, perhaps one of them, is an "Impimpi" – a sell-out and police spy. The question is, whom? Pressure mounts and tension rises amongst them in the bank. All those involved have one thing in common – a fight for freedom. As the Trio recognize their only options are prison or death, they decide to negotiate for the release of Nelson Mandela.