Sun 12 Nov • 18:00 • Watershed
Inxeba (The Wound)
Director: John Trengove
Cast: Véro Tshanda Beya, Gaetan Claudia, Papi Mpaka
South Africa / Germany / Netherlands / France, 2017, 88 mins, Xhosa / Afrikaans / English with English Subtitles
What does it mean to be a man? This provocative and poignant film considers our notions of masculinity, sexuality and tradition. Confined to a camp in the mountains of the Eastern Cape, teenage boys undergo Ukwaluka, an initiation ritual which is deemed a rite of passage. Factory worker Xolani, played by openly gay South African singer/songwriter Nakhane Touré, returns to the camp for the annual ritual and reconnects with Vija, his childhood friend. When he is chosen to mentor a confident young man, suspicions are raised about Xolani’s sexuality which could have devastating consequences. As the characters deny and suppress who they are and who they love, violence and frustration is unleashed. While the film’s title evokes the physical wound inflicted during initiation, it draws parallels with the trauma of untenable love. Following his acting debut, Nakhane Touré has received a tirade of verbal abuse in South Africa, which reveals the persistence of homophobia and the necessity for films like this.