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The Angel, the Bicycle and the Chinaman's Finger - Cyclelicious

The Angel, the Bicycle and the Chinaman's Finger

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Sunday, March 16, 2008
By Yokota Fritz

My buddy Jonathan grew up in South Africa as the son of a missionary. I was checking out some of the stuff he has online and for his favorite movie he lists "The Angel, the Bicycle and the Chinaman's Finger", which is about as cinematically obscure as you can be. I'll ask Jonathan about this the next time I see him, but does anyone know anything about this film? Is it at all available in the United States?

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...i'll tell ya, fritz...i'm not the most savvy computer guy by a long shot but i did some serious searching & i could not find a copy to buy, rent or view anywhere...

...interestingly enough, the brief synopsis of the movie i did read, reminded me of the style of "& the gods must be crazy" & the reviewer later turned out to make the same comparison...
Just so you know, it is an amazing film, I too rank it among my top films ever. It has very south african humour and it's true, you can't buy it anywhere! I know of one small videoshop in pietermaritzburg which rents it out!
Thanks for that Anon. My curiosity about this film is killing me!
It's true, this is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Saw it back then in the cinema, in Durban. A "xmas" story after Easer. It is about the only movie I am trying to find, for years already. It just vanished, it seems, into thin air. Sure, if you do not remember the years of transition in South Africa beginning 1990's you will probably miss half the fun, but still.... how can such a fliek just disappear?
I've seen it once on tv in South Africa. It then disappeared, it just vanished. After a couple of years, I tried to find a copy. I got lucky writing a pleading letter to NuMetro itself. They sent me the videotape. Now I'm trying to rip it to some decent quality. I'll let you know about it when it's finished.
Thanks Anon. My friend Jonathan has apparently dropped off the face of the earth. I haven't seen him or his wife in months.
This has got to be the BEST SA movie ever!! It even beats The Gods Must be Crazy and Beautiful People in my opinion. My family have watched it over and over for years.
It was avaialable from Video stores up to about 2006 and then dissappeared. Requests to DVD stores since have proven futile.It resurfaced through MNET recently and we made a copy on our PVR. Apparently, MNET do have a copy in their archives which, if enough people pester them may be made available again in some digital format.

Incidentally, I have met Nicolas Ellenbogen the writer and director (the white unionist in the movie)in person. He used to be involved in amateur rally driving through the Sports Car Club of SA. Not sure where he is now but he is the same in real life as he is in the movie
I too would love to watch this film again. I saw it as a child and then emmigrated, so no chance of finding it in South Africa anymore. If you make a digital copy, please put it on Megaupload.com so we can all download it! :-)
It is a beautiful movie. My suspicion is that it got canned because it might be politically offensive to some of the more easily offended idiotic types. I love this movie. Ever since I moved away from SA in 2001 my folks have been trying to get hold of it for me. My dad got a VHS copy of a VHS copy of a SABC2 TV broadcast which he kindly put on a DVD for me! woohoo! It's obviously not very good quality, so if someone does manage to get the proper tapes from NuMetro/Mnet/etc, please tell us how you got it!

I might be able to rip it again to AVI and stick it somewhere online. Not committing to anything though!
Hi guys/girls

I've managed to rip it from DVD to m4v. I've RAR'ed it and uploaded it to Dropbox. You can download the rar bits here:

Please try it and post back what you think?
Hi Al

I've downloaded the movie.

Problem is it requires a password to uncompress. can you please post the password.

Its an amazing film & I have been trying to get a copy of it for months to show my new wife. please post it so I can finally prove to the wife that not all souith african comedies are lousy.

Hi Paladin. Thanks for highlighting that. I did it very late at night so my mind wasnt all there. I'll try remember and post it. Don't delete the rars yet.

Hi. Does anyone know what the password is yet or how to crack it? I've downloaded the RAR files and tried but with no success yet.

Really would like to watch this movie again.
I would also like to be able to extract these files. Please could someone let me know the password.
Hi "you can call me Al", Please can you make the password known to extract the RAR files you posted on this blog. Regards Martin.
Hi guys. I'm relaly sorry I'm taking so long with this. I'm having endless problems with my imac and am struggling to get the info again. I may have to upload it again. Until then, please be patient and check back regularly!

Happy newyear!
Hi guys (and girls)

Finally remembered what I used as a password.

The password is abcf

As I mentioned in a previous post, the quality is not too great, but it is watchable!

Please post comments here in this post or on my blog page (linked on my handle)
Hi there "You can call me AL", that password still does not work !!
Hi all

More apologies for not getting it working sooner. It seems that I messed up totally along the way, so I've removed the files and uploaded a new batch. The password is Angel.

I hope this work this time!


I am shocked. This guy goes to so much trouble and posts the film on January 20th, and now it's March 14 and NO ONE has thanked him? Well I will: thank you, thank you, thank you for uploading all those RAR files. I downloaded them all, renamed the m4v file to an mp4 file, then I used DVDFlick to convert it into a format for burning to DVDs. Now I'm going to post copies to all my South African relatives. It's a wonderful film, and an interesting snapshot of the end of an era just as it faded from view. Thanks again!

Maybe someone should start a website dedicated to the film? I've seen some good fansites for films like Big Trouble in Little China, where they have bios on every character, details on the soundtrack, locations, etc. And the buig bonus here, would be making the film available for download. 1.5gig would eat up a lot of bandwidth though...
Hi Al

I don't know if I'm being an idiot or what but I can't download the files you posted. My Winrar insists that all the files are corrupt and only 742 bytes big...please help! I can't wait to see the movie again!

I have been looking for this movie for the last 13 years. NGYABONGA MFOWETU! LEKKA LEKKA SOOS A FIRE KREKKA!DANKIE MAN! It works perfectly. Jy is darem 'n nice ou ek se!
Anyhow, it really blessed me here in Bakersfield, California during a very dry homesick season.

Many blessings
Hi there, thanks for the links, which I have managed to download, but somehow I am no ablto unpack the fule successfuly I am not the most computer savvy, so I don't know if I am doing anything wrong. keep getting messages saying "Unexpected end of archve" or "packed data failed, the volume is corrupt"Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Gerald
Step 1: Download and install WinRAR (http://www.rarlab.com/)
Step 2: Download all 15 .rar parts
Step 3: Right click on downloaded file with the name "abcf.part01" and choose "Extract to abcf\"
A new file named "abcf" should be automatically created. Open this file and you should see another file named "abcf", open this file and you should find the mpeg-4-video file named "angel_bicycle_chinamans_finger". There is your fully assembled South African classic!

I've been emailing MNet, Sonneblom Films and various other people in order to find out if I could get hold of a DVD of this wonderful film and finally I got some results. I've obviously taken my name out, but the message remains the same:

Hi You can call me Al

Thank you for your email.

The film in question will be released at the retail outlets at the end of June. It will also be available on www.kalahari.net

The Select stores it will be available at are as follows:

Look & Listen
Pick n Pay Hypermarket
Phase 2 CD

If you are in hurry to get a copy, we can make you a copy on DVD for R450.00.

Let me know what you decide?

Kind Regards
Ms. Bonolo Modisakwane

M-Net Sales

+2711 6866107
137 Bram Fischer Drive Randburg 2194

From: youcancallmeal@nowhereinparticular.com
To: Mnet-Editor
Subject: Mail from MNET Contacts

Category: MNET QUERY: General Enquiries - General Enquiries

Message: Hi There
Can you please point me in the right direction? I want to find out if the 1991 movie ''The Angel, The Bicycle and the Chinaman's Finger'' is available to buy on DVD or original VHS? If not, is it possible to have it made into DVD from your film archives? It's a shame that such a brilliant movie is not generally available to buy.
Thank you
You can call me Al

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