The Wound has proven intensely controversial in its native South Africa. Some among the country’s Xhosa people (including the ‘King’) objected to its portrayal of their manhood initiation ceremony, which they said was taboo to talk about (others said their objection was really about trying to quash the idea that there are gay Xhosa people). That resulted in the movie being banned. After a public outcry it was swiftly unbanned, but with a certificate that was usually reserved for pornography.
The film certainly isn’t porn, but the controversy has meant it’s remained in the public consciousness over there far longer than it probably would have otherwise. It’s one of the latest examples of the so-called Barbra Streisand effect, where calling attention to something in the hope of making it disappear has the unintended side effect of amplifying it, in this case internationally. That leaves the difficult job on the part of the reviewer of trying to extricate themselves from the cause celebre the movie has become from the movie itself – luckily in the case of The Wound the movie stands up on its own. [Read more…]