The Wound, a new local film starring one of South Africa’s most loved musicians, Nakhane Toure, as the lead will host its world premiere at the renowned Sundance Film Festival in January.
This was announced earlier this week when the festival revealed its line-up of 66 films from all around the globe.
The film, directed by South African filmmaker John Trengove, seeks to address and challenge the narrow depictions of ‘African masculinity’. It does this by telling the story of a Xhosa factory worker, Xolani, who joins a group of men from his community to initiate boys into manhood in the Eastern Cape mountains.
One of the initiate boys, Kwanda (who is secretly homosexual), uncovers a crippling secret about Xolani when he learns that he is also homosexual and is possibly in an intimate relationship with the alpha male of the village.
The film was co-written by Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana and Malusi Bengu. Trengove admits that they have made a “controversial and political film”.
“Finding support in South Africa has proven to be difficult in the two years of development. Our national funder has a mandate to support films with purely a commercial neck. We are depicting a taboo story world… We are not willing to compromise on the integrity of the work; therefore we turned to the international community in order to finance a film that shines light on a serious issue in our contemporary society,” he said in a statement to Screen Africa.
He went on to commend the people who he worked with in the creation of this film, saying: “What a privilege to have worked with this fearless cast and insanely talented team of collaborators. I am so grateful for the many Xhosa men who contributed in big ways and small ways and, miraculously, trusted me to make this film. Whatever comes next, we made The Wound with our eyes and hearts wide open.”