Event: The Wound
Dir. John Trengove
South Africa 2017 (88:00)
John Trengove’s debut feature, The Wound, is an exploration of tradition and sexuality set amid South Africa’s Xhosa culture. Premiering to widespread critical acclaim at Sundance and winning Outstanding First Feature at Frameline, The Wound is South Africa’s submission for this year’s Foreign-Language Oscar race.
Every year, the tribe’s young men are brought to the mountains of the Eastern Cape to participate in an ancient coming-of-age ritual. Xolani, a quiet and sensitive factory worker (played by openly gay musician Nakhane Touré), is assigned to guide Kwanda, a city boy from Johannesburg sent by his father to be toughened up, through this rite of passage into manhood. As Kwanda defiantly negotiates his queer identity within this masculine environment, he quickly recognizes the nature of Xolani’s relationship with fellow guide Vija. The three men commence a dangerous dance with each other and their own desires and, soon, the threat of exposure elevates the tension to breaking point.
"Affecting and suspenseful. A potent drama of sexual identity and divided loyalty."
- A. O. Scott, The New York Times
"A milestone in South African cinema.”
-Guy Lodge, Variety