The Wound

The Wound

Included in the shortlist of 9 finalists for the Oscar in foreign film category

Dir: John Trengove
Production: Elias Ribeiro, Cait Pansegrouw
Cast: Nakhane Touré, Bongile Mantasi, Niza Jay Ncoyini

South Africa, Germany, Netherlands, France, 2017, 88 min., Xhosa with Hebrew and English subtitles

Sundance 2017 – world premiere
Berlinale 2017 – International Premiere – Panornama Opening Movie  
Carthage Film Festival 2017 – Best Feature Film
Cinema Jove – Valencia International Film Festival 2017 – Best Film, Best Actor
Durban International Film Festival 2017 – Best Actor
Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival 2017 – First Feature
L.A. Outfest 2017 – Outstanding International Narrative Feature
Mumbai Film Festival 2017 – Jury Grand Prize 
London Film Festival 2017 – First Feature
World Cinema Amsterdam 2017 – Best Film

Eastern Cape, South Africa. Xolani takes a week off work to participate in an initiation ceremony for adolescents, held in the countryside. Beginning with a circumcision, the boys are expected to transform into men. They come from different backgrounds – some are city boys, the others living in the country. The initiation takes place in a pastoral mountainous setting near a breathtaking waterfall, with no women around. It is here that they are expected to take in the traditional masculine code of conduct.

Xolani acts as guide to Kwanda, the son of a well-off Johannesburg family. The modern, rebellious youth leads a western lifestyle and soon comes across Xolani’s secret: he is in love with one of the other guides. A power struggle develops between the three men, set against the backdrop of the splendid scenery, filmed with a master’s hand. The three protagonists, through superb acting, reveal themselves to be complex male figures, each facing difficult, life-changing dilemmas.

Having dealt in the controversial tradition of initiation in his short film Ibhokhwe, director John Trengove now delves deeper into South African masculinity through a profound study of the subject. The Wound is an impressive film debut that lingers in the mind of viewers long after it ends.