Xhosa king tries to stop ini­ti­a­tion film

Film-mak­ers, ac­tors have re­ceived threats over ‘Inxeba’

Cape Argus - - NEWS - Yolisa Tswanya

IF THE Xhosa king has his way, au­di­ences in Cape Town will not have a chance to see the con­tro­ver­sial movie, Inxeba (The Wound) which is to hit the cir­cuit to­day. The movie has re­ceived a back­lash from au­di­ences on so­cial me­dia and the AmaXhosa king, Mpen­dulo Zwelonke Sig­cawu, has in­structed his lawyers to file an in­ter­dict against the screen­ing of the film.

The movie had a screen­ing in East Lon­don last week, but the film’s pro­ducer Cait Pansegrouw said to her knowl­edge the king has not seen the film.

“From what I am aware of he has not seen it. He was not at the screen­ing we had in East Lon­don. It is un­for­tu­nate that the dis­course is be­ing led by those that have not seen it and is be­ing judged by its twominute trailer,” she said.

The film tells the story of a care­giver dur­ing a Xhosa male ini­ti­a­tion cer­e­mony who be­comes ro­man­ti­cally in­volved with an­other care­giver and ex­plores themes of tra­di­tion, sex­u­al­ity and mas­culin­ity.

Pansegrouw said the neg­a­tive com­ments around the film did not harm it, and hoped au­di­ences in Cape Town will see it.

“They are dumb­ing down a movie deal­ing with com­plex is­sues. We still stand by the film that we made and we are proud of the film we made.”

She said they had not re­ceived any com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the king. The film’s ac­tors and its mak­ers have re­ceived threats.

Sig­cawu has also writ­ten to East­ern Cape Arts and Cul­ture MEC Pemmy Ma­jo­d­ina and the Film and Pub­li­ca­tion Board (FPB) to try to stop the screen­ing of the film across the coun­try.

FPB spokesper­son Manala Bo­tolo said they were en­gag­ing with the house of tra­di­tional lead­ers in the East­ern Cape but they had not re­ceived any com­plaints about it from the pub­lic.

“They re­quested a meet­ing with us, they wanted to know what our role is.”

She said they would not be able to stop the screen­ing of the film.

“Once we re­ceive a for­mal com­plaint then we are able to ad­dress the com­plaint in­di­vid­u­ally, but we had no com­plaints.”

Pen SA, a non-po­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion rep­re­sent­ing writ­ers of the world, said the threats against those in­volved in the film went against the con­sti­tu­tion.

“Pen SA urges all those cit­i­zens and civic or­gan­i­sa­tions ded­i­cated to up­hold­ing the con­sti­tu­tion to join us in con­demn­ing these kinds of vi­o­lent speeches and calls upon Mr Nathi Mthethwa, the min­is­ter of arts and cul­ture, to pre­vail upon his cab­i­net col­leagues in the se­cu­rity clus­ter to take ac­tion and con­demn the threats voiced against Inxeba and mem­bers of the cast,” said the pres­i­dent of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, Na­dia Davids.

IN FO­CUS: A gay Xhosa ini­ti­a­tion love story called Inxeba (The Wound), ex­plores mas­culin­ity and tra­di­tion and has courted con­tro­versy.

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