The film tells the story of a young conscript who battles to survive compulsory service in apartheid-South Africa’s military while confronting toxic masculinity and coming to terms with his sexual orientation.
In recent weeks, in anticipation of the film’s South African premiere director Oliver Hermanus shared and discussed the film with a select few gay men for whom he has great admiration, and sat down to talk about their experience of the word "moffie."
These conversations form part of the #calledamoffie campaign by Portobello Productions – the team behind the movie – to denuclearise the word and the hurt it has caused so many people.
Videos of these conversations are available to watch on the film’s website and features actor Armand Aucamp, comedians Marc Lottering, Pieter-Dirk Uys and Casper de Vries, TV and radio personality Rian van Heerden, politician Siphesihle Dube, fashion designer Lukhanyo Mdingi, business consultant and founder of the Gay Pages, Rubin van Niekerk, sexual health activist Phumlani Kango, and Damian Engelbrecht, the first openly gay contestant on the reality series Boer Soek 'n Vrou.
Of his decision to select Moffie as the title, Hermanus says it is not just about the word itself – more so its impact: "I’ve always been conscious of my intention to make a film called Moffie. The only place in the world where that word means anything is here, South Africa. I have toured this film, and continue to tour it around the globe but its most affected audience, its intended audience, is my fellow South Africans."
Hermanus adds: "There is a very particular moment in this film that I draw from my own lived experience. Of course, I adapted it, but it was a moment in my life that defined me for a long time. Our power as storytellers is to create awareness and discussion, to activate a conversation and share ideas."
Moffie stars Kai Luke Brümmer, Hitlon Pelser, Matthew Vey, Stefan Vermaak, and Ryan de Villliers. It is produced by Eric Abraham, Jack Sidey and co-produced by Theresa Ryan- van Graan. Moffie is produced by Portobello Productions and Penzance Films.
Compiled by Herman Eloff.