The Wound debuts in French cinemas

By Khosi Biyela
20 April 2017

The controversial film, Inxeba (The Wound) hit France’s big screens yesterday.

KHOSI BIYELA

This follows The Wound’s successful world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in the U.S.A. It also did well at its European premiere as the opening film on the Panorama programme at the 67th Berlinale in Germany.

The film co-written by John Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana and Malusi Bengu is about the clash between tradition and modernity. It is directed by Trengrove.

It will also be released on 41 screens in France, including six in Paris, seven in Lyon, seven in Marseille and seven in Bordeaux. The film stars Nakhane Touré as Xolani, a lonely factory worker, who returns to his homeland in the mountains of Eastern Cape to become an ikhankatha (a Xhosa initiation school facilitator).

His role is to mentor the new candidates as they prepared for manhood. But there’s another reason he so desperately wants to head that way: to resume his sexual relationship with fellow ikhankatha Vija (played by Bongani Mantsai), who is a married father of three. And his secret is discovered by a defiant initiate boy from Johannesburg.

According to the head of distribution at Pyramide Films, Roxane Arnold, the film has garnered  media partnerships with French national newspapers Le Monde and Telerama, as well as the national radio station France Culture. It is said that the French distribution company has invested R2,5 million into the marketing of the film and hopes to attract 50 000 viewers to cinemas in France.

“‘The Wound’ belongs to a rare class of films – those which depict a local, unique situation with humility and respect while triggering a much-needed conversation in every one of the territories where it is released,” says Marie Dubas, one of the French producers from Deuxiéme Ligne Films. “The eagerness of the French cinemas to screen it proves the depth of the moral and political issues at the heart of the film. These complexities are conveyed by smart and sensitive characters who are sure to move audiences profoundly.”

‘Inxeba’ continues to travel around the world, having been officially selected for festivals in Belgium, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Italy and Greece. It was recently awarded the Narrative Jury Prize at the Sarasota Film Festival in Florida, USA.

Thus far, the film has been licensed to distributors in 19 countries, including the USA, the UK, Germany, Brazil and Australia. It will be distributed in South African by Indigenous Film Distribution.

The producer of the film, Batana Vundla says he is proud to have worked on film. “It has been very thoughtfully and carefully crafted over several years. The Wound is deeply embedded within South African culture that resonates with an international audience.” He says it also touches a universal human emotions around sexual identity and self-acceptance.  “And it looks at the interaction between tradition and sexuality. It’s bound to be seen as controversial by some.”

There are also hopes that the film will qualify as a contender in the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 2018 Academy Awards.

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