John Trengove’s directorial debut Inxeba (The Wound) is the most audacious and visually stunning – not forgetting vividly provocative – film to come to African cinema in recent memory. Xolani, a lonely factory worker, joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape 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. Undoubtedly the film’s most winning recipe is that it advances the way gay men are being portrayed on screen. The gay men here are complex and not given the caricature treatment where gay characters merely add colour to a story. Even the sex scenes are intense and graphic.
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