Controversial Inxeba is South Africa’s entry to Oscar awards

Mzansi will submit Inxeba in the scramble for the foreign-language category award.


Directed by John Trengove, “Inxeba: (“The Wound”) is South African Xhosa movie controversial for its hitting hard on the traditional initiation schools in the country.

It’s South Africa’s submission for the foreign-language category Oscar award.

The movie was selected by the National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF) a week ago.

The selection committee lauded the film “as a masterpiece in terms of script, directing and performances,” according to the NFVF’s Peter Kwele, who added that the film’s sale in 22 territories so far is “evidence of its global appeal.”

It is co-written by Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana and Malusi Bengu, and starred by Nakhane Touré, an acclaimed musician and novelist making his acting debut, along with Bongile Mantsai and Niza Jay Ncoyini.

AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu has called on the film to be boycotted for its “insult” and degrading of Xhosa culture.

Trengove said the movie “stepped into some difficult terrain”.

“Telling a story about same-sex desire in such a sacred traditional context has been extremely triggering for some,” he said, adding that however “since local audiences have actually had a chance to see the film, the amount of anger and vitriol has largely been replaced by passionate dialogue.”

He said he hoped the film’s Oscar submission “would encourage other local filmmakers to take bigger risks and express something of our uniquely South African experience.”

(edited by MLM)

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