Xhosa king tries to stop initiation film
Film-makers, actors have received threats over ‘Inxeba’
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.