At last, a South African movie about Panic in the streets! The streets are those of the suburbs, shantytowns and shopping malls of Johannesburg, and Panic is a small-time crook who keeps his nose out of politics. The trouble is that politics touches everyone on the streets of Jo'burg, as Panic discovers when he is picked up by the police for questioning and dumped in a cell with a bunch of township militants, precisely the people he most despises and fears. White director Schmitz and black co-writer/star Mogotlane wisely leave Panic's future to our imagination, and concentrate instead on getting inside the skin of a scuzzy but not dislikeable criminal. (The title, incidently, is the township argot for 'spiv'.) The result has much the same energy that Lino Brocka brings to his Filipino slum melodramas, and it gets far closer to the sights, sounds, smells and rhythms of Soweto life than an entire Attenborough of white liberal movies. Needless to say, it's banned from SA cinema screens.