Gorgeously rendered, this South African film is an excoriating look at the toxicity and violence that erupts from repressive taboos.
Xolani, a lonely factory worker, joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to induct a group of Xhosa teenage boys into manhood in an initiation called Ukwaluka. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best kept secret, Xolani’s entire existence begins to unravel.
In his debut feature, John Trengove boldly traverses the fevered confines of the secret Xhosa ritual to reveal the deep psychological and physical scars of South African society. With courageous turns from veteran thespian Bongile Mantsai, actor-musician Nakhane Touré and newcomer Niza Jay Ncoyini, they bring to light sexual awakening, and challenge the notions of masculinity in the country. The tension between who they are and who they are supposed to be threatens to engulf them, and Trengove feeds the fire for a complicated, indeterminable reconciliation.
Cast & Credits
Johannesburg-based writer-director John Trengove’s career spans film, fringe theatre, television, commercials and experimental video. His acclaimed miniseries Hopeville (2010) received the Swiss Rose d’Or for best drama. His short The Goat (2014) was screened at Berlin IFF and Toronto IFF. Trengove’s first feature The Wound (2017) premiered in Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition.
Elias Ribeiro, Cait Pansegrouw
John Trengove, Thando Mgoolozana, Malusi Bengu
Nakhane Touré, Bongile Mantsai, Niza Jay Ncoyini
• Jury Prize, South African Jury Prize, Durban International Film Festival 2017
• International New Talent Competition – Grand Prize, Taipei Film Festival 2017
• In-competition, Berlin International Film Festival 2017