The Wound

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From the archive

This film was last shown on 3 May 2018

High in the Eastern Cape mountains of South Africa, the ancient Xhosa ritual takes place. Every year a new group of teenage boys will initiate into manhood, lead on their journey by mentors that underwent the ritual themselves years before. One of the mentors, Xolani, returns every year to reunite with his childhood friend and ritual partner Vija – a violent, overbearing, married man.

This year, one of the initiates can sense something deeper simmering under the surface of Vija and Xolani’s relationship that threatens to unravel their very existence, with dangerous consequences for everybody.

A tightly wound tale of secrecy and taboo that delves into the complexities of masculinity, sexuality and cultural tradition.


John Trengrove
France, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa
88 mins
Bongile Mantsai, Nakhane Touré, Niza Jay Ncoyini


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