The Wound got some good reviews at Sundance, and went on to win the Grand Jury Award at Outfest, along with various other gongs at film fesitvals. However, despite the praise heaped on the South African movie, there’s one group that’s more reticent about its wider the release – the people it’s about, the amaXhosa.
However, the King of the amaXhosa, Zwelonke Sigcawu, hasn’t raised concerns because the the gay content of the movie, but because he and others are concerned that it shows too much of their male coming-of-age rituals, which they believe should remain completely secret.
The movie follows Xolani, a lonely factory worker, who travels to the rural mountains with the men of his community to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best-kept secret, Xolani’s entire existence begins to unravel as he tries to better understand his own sexuality.
The King’s lawyer told News 24, that “His subjects are complaining. He is the custodian of custom and what is being dealt [with] in the film is custom. It is on those grounds that he would … be an interested party. There’s a lot of panic among the amaXhosa people who have undertaken the rituals, some of the men mostly, and they called on the kingdom of the amaXhosa to intervene.”
There may also be some upset because despite being about that culture, the King and most others weren’t aware it had been made, and haven’t been able to see the complete thing yet. The lawyer adds, “He has been seeing [the] trailers and people are just shocked. There is an extent [to] which freedom of expression can go… there are limits [to] which customs… can be exposed.”
At the moment plans continue to release the movie more widely around the globe (it’s already been out in France, major US cities and a couple of other countries). It has been screened in South Africa, getting its premiere in July at the Durban International Film Festival, but it’s not clear when its full release will be, or there the King of the amaXhosa’s intervention might affect it.
No official complaint about the movie has currently been received by the South African classification board, and it seems unlikely they would try to ban it. However, the creative team behind the movie have said they will try to address the King’s concerns.(h/t Instinct) [Read more…]