Inxeba, or The Wound, is being considered ground-breaking for its portrayal of a gay romance in South Africa.
However one king is not happy with the film’s release, but it’s not because of the gay content.
Zwelonke Sigcawu is the king of the amaXhosa people, an ethnic group found mostly in South Africa, and he is concerned the movie is revealing too much about the culture’s private customs.
It follows factory worker Xolani, played by musician and actor Nakhane Touré, who is asked to guide a younger man, Kwanda (Niza Jay Ncoyini) through a rite of passage into manhood.
This trial leads Kwanda and Xolani to discovering and understanding themselves, including their sexualities.’
As the film focuses on the initiation process for young men, secrets some amaXhosa women are unaware of, many are upset this is being shared.
Matthew Mpahlwa, the king’s lawyer, told News24 that:
‘His subjects are complaining. He is the custodian of custom and what is being dealt [with] in the film is custom. It is on those grounds that he would … be an interested party,’ Mpahlwa said.
‘There’s a lot of panic among the amaXhosa people who have undertaken the rituals, some of the men mostly, and they called on the kingdom of the amaXhosa to intervene.’
King and his people are ‘just shocked’ by The Wound’s trailers
The king and his people have yet to see the film. It has only be released at the Durban Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and the Film Forum in NYC.
‘He has been seeing [the] trailers and people are just shocked,’ Mpahlwa added.
‘There is an extent [to] which freedom of expression can go… there are limits [to] which customs… can be exposed.’
King Sigcawu is hoping to talk ‘amicably’ with film producers before going to court and filing a complaint with the Film and Publications Board about stopping distribution.
It comes as cast and crew for Inxeba, or The Wound, has been sent online attacks and threats.
Touré, the star of the film, has been sent death threats including being ‘burnt alive’.
‘We view these inexcusable threats in a serious light, and we will be taking appropriate action against any individual who threatens violence or commits homophobic hate crimes,’ said producer Cait Pansegrouw, of Urucu Media.
The Wound’s cast and crew victim of online trolling
‘Inxeba has attracted much interest from the South African public, many of whom are eagerly anticipating its local release. From the feedback we receive daily on the film’s Faacebook page, it is clear that the people attempting to shut the film down are speaking on behalf of a minority, and do not represent the “entire Xhosa nation” as they claim.
‘Inxeba was filmed in isiXhosa and is a proudly South African film that has drawn much praise from audiences around the world.’
Touré is a Xhosa man who has been through initiation.
‘People have jumped to conclusions about a film they haven’t even seen. I speak as a Xhosa man who has been to initiation, and who is proud to have done so, when I say that no secrets are revealed. What is being revealed instead, is a violent homophobia,’ he said.
‘Those issuing threats are nowhere to be seen when Xhosa initiates are sexually assaulted during initiation. Where are you madoda when babies are raped in our communities? Where is your anger when women are raped and murdered? The answer is nowhere. Instead, you choose to attack an important and insightful film that I do not for a single moment regret being part of.’
SOURCE: GAY STAR NEWS