Tra­di­tional lead­ers: Ban ‘Inxeba’ film

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - TSHEGO LEPULE

TRA­DI­TIONAL lead­ers have called for the movie Inxeba: The Wound to be banned and for film-mak­ers to is­sue a pub­lic apol­ogy for por­tray­ing their tra­di­tions as “bar­baric”.

This comes as con­tro­versy con­tin­ues to sur­round the film a week af­ter it was re­leased in the­atres across the coun­try.

On Tues­day the film-mak­ers will meet with the Film and Pub­li­ca­tion Board for a hear­ing fol­low­ing sev­eral com­plaints from dif­fer­ent or­gan­i­sa­tion op­posed to the movie.

The Com­mis­sion for the Pro­tec­tion of the Rights of Cul­tural, Reli­gious and Lin­guis­tic Com­mu­ni­ties also made rep­re­sen­ta­tions to the board based on com­plaints it re­ceived, re­quest­ing the age re­stric­tion be in­creased to 18.

The board rated the movie 16SLN last July.

The film, which tells the story of a love af­fair be­tween two men dur­ing the Xhosa tra­di­tional ini­ti­a­tion cer­e­mony, has drawn a lot of crit­i­cism from Xhosa peo­ple who say some of prac­tices were shown in the film in a dis­torted and in­ac­cu­rate way.

Sev­eral com­plaints have been lodged by dif­fer­ent bod­ies and by the film-mak­ers them­selves.

Screen­ing of the movie has been can­celled at some cin­e­mas. There have been threats of vi­o­lence against the crew mem­bers.

Manag­ing di­rec­tor He­len Kuun said: “Safety and se­cu­rity mea­sures have been taken by the pro­duc­ers with re­gards to threats to tal­ent and a case has been lodged with po­lice,” she said.

“The Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion (has) ac­knowl­edged re­ceipt of the com­plaint laid by the Inxeba film-mak­ers and will in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.

“The ap­peal hear­ing with the board is tak­ing place on Fe­bru­ary 13 and the out­come will be com­mu­ni­cated to Indige­nous Film Dis­tri­bu­tion by the tri­bunal soon there­after. Should the rat­ing be amended this will be in­sti­tuted im­me­di­ately by the dis­trib­u­tor.”

But many tra­di­tional lead­ers said they would only be ap­peased by a ban on the movie.

Al­fred Mag­waca, a mem­ber of the Langa Her­itage Foun­da­tion, said the un­writ­ten rule around ini­ti­a­tion had al­ways been “what hap­pens in Ve­gas, stays in Ve­gas” and the film had bro­ken that, cou­pled with a few dis­tor­tions of prac­tices.

“Some of us have seen the movie while oth­ers only saw snip­pets of it and it was dis­turb­ing. The young boys who have yet to go there are fright­ened by what they saw, think­ing ‘Is this what is go­ing to hap­pen to us?’

“Those are things that we never share with those who have yet to go and if they had done re­search first and por­trayed the right thing, knew the bound­aries around what to show and what not to show, we would have un­der­stood and not have had prob­lems with it.

“But the prob­lem is there was no thor­ough re­search and there are ques­tions around where the writ­ers got what they showed in the movie. As Xhosa men, we are not happy with it, we are com­pletely against what is seen and de­picted there.

“The ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity fac­tor is an­other thing, at the bush there is noth­ing that hap­pens with re­gards to ho­mo­sex­u­als. We have had gays at the moun­tain and they were never treated the way this one was treated by the ikankatha (care­taker) in the movie.

“When we are there, we are teach­ing peo­ple ways of life, not that we are chang­ing a per­son that is gay into not be­ing gay, but at the end of the day it is that per­son’s choice. When they get to the moun­tain and see that there are no talks about ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, we are there for a pur­pose – which is cir­cum­ci­sion.

“But we are will­ing to sit down with the writ­ers and dis­cuss how they can make it right, but at the end of it the only thing that would make this okay is if they would re­tract the movie and is­sue and apol­ogy.”

Chair­per­son of the Coun­cil of Nguni Peo­ple, Chief Lun­gelo Nok­waza, said while they con­demned any threats of vi­o­lence against the film-mak­ers, it did not change their stance on the movie.

“If our cul­ture was por­trayed the right way, there would not be so much out­rage, the de­pic­tion of some prac­tices in there also por­trays us to the world as bar­baric peo­ple who beat up young boys; all sorts of things that are not true,” he added.

“When all of this is over, it should serve as an ex­am­ple to any­one else who would want to ridicule our cul­ture for pop­u­lar­ity. It will be dealt with.”

A screen­grab from film the film Inxeba.

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