The Wound (Inxeba) asks: what does it mean to be a man? This provocative and poignant film considers our notions of masculinity, sexuality and tradition.
Confined to a camp in the mountains of the Eastern Cape, teenage boys undergo Ukwaluka, an initiation ritual which is a rite of passage. Factory worker Xolani, played by openly gay South African singer/songwriter Nakhane Touré, returns to the camp for the annual ritual and reconnects with his childhood friend. When he is chosen to mentor a confident young man, suspicions are raised about Xolani’s sexuality which could have devastating consequences. As the characters deny and suppress who they are and who they love, violence and frustration are unleashed.
A dark and stirring variation on the standard coming-of-age narrative that, much like its central characters, does not follow the path one might expect. Exploring the consequences of rigid masculinity, this is a film that offers a glimpse into a seldom-seen world, and a character study that looks deeply into the behaviour of very different men who might have loved each other under different circumstances.