20 Nov 9:00 pm: The Wound
Director: John Trengove
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Winner of a string of awards including most original and imaginative first feature at the London Film Festival, The Wound is a sensitive look at a controversial rite of passage and an astonishing drama exploring masculinity and queer desire in South Africa.
The wound of the title refers to Ukwaluka, the ritualistic circumcision undergone by teenage boys of the Xhosa community. This rarely-spoken-of ritual provides fertile ground for the film to explore another embedded taboo in South African culture, that of homosexuality. Director John Trengove worked with a cast of Xhosa natives, most of them non-actors with South African singer Nakhane Touré, himself openly gay, in the lead role of Xolani.
After going through the ritual as a boy, Xolani now acts as caregiver, returning each year to look after a young initiate. This annual trip allows him to pursue the closeted sexual relationship he has cultivated with fellow elder Vija. The men’s relationship is noticed by Kwanda, the teenage boy under Xolani’s care, a risky prospect in a violently homophobic society.
In Xhosa and Afrikaans with English subtitles.
Starring: Nakhane Touré, Bongile Mantsai, Niza Jay Ncoyini
Produced in: South Africa 2016
Running time: 88 mins