ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – X – The Wound (2017)

This has been selected for X because of the main characters name Xolani.

Director: John Trengove

Writer: John Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana, Malusi Bengu (Screenplay) John Trengove, Batana Vundla (Story)

Starring: Nakhane Toure, Bongile Mantsai, Niza Jay, Thobant Mseleni, Gabriel Mini, Zwelakha Mtsaka


Plot: Xolani, a lonely factory worker, travels to the rural mountains with the men of his community to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood.

Tagline – Some stories can’t be retold

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Shocking Look at Love


Story: The Wound starts when factory worker Xolani (Toure) returns to his community outside of Joburg to help with the initiation process of the teenage boys to manhood, he teenager Kwanda (Jay) is a family friend, which is meant to help the process for the teenager.

Xolani gets to see his own secret lover Vija (Mantsai) who is also performing an initiation, but the two men get to return to their forbidden ways. As the initiation continues Kwanda must learn just what this means to the other young men, as Xolani must keep his own secret from everybody else.


Thoughts on The Wound


Characters – Xolani is a factory worker who knows his roots through an initiation process for teenagers to become men, he has returned to be a ‘caregiver’ to his initiate, he gets to rekindle a forbidden love with a married man, which they must keep secret, even if this is the highlight of his life. Vija is a married man who is also a ‘caregiver’, he is much stricter than Xolani and is a lover of his, he knows just how forbidden their love is and will go after anyone who gets in their way. Kwanda is a rich kid that is going through this initiation, he does question the process which puts his position in danger.

PerformancesNakhane Toure is wonderful in the leading role, showing us the commitment to his character has for this love. Bongile Mantsai and Niza Jay in the supporting roles are both brilliant too, which is a completely well acted film throughout.

StoryThe story here shows an initiation being performed on teenager boys as they become young men, it takes them away from their family’s and leaves them in the care of a man known as a ‘caregiver’ who helps heal the wound, we have two caregivers that are involved in a gay relationship, which they can only have on these events who have very different lives away from the initiation. This does show us how a culture treats their young men, which shouldn’t be a practised in this modern world. we do get to deal with forbidden romance, in a culture that doesn’t accept homosexual relationships. By having two major world issues going on, it shows us how the country is just as happy to sweep them under the rug, rather than learn to accept them, which is interesting to see,

RomanceThe romance side of the story shows the love two men can have, only for a short time, only if nobody else knows, in a culture that isn’t ready to accept them.

SettingsThe film is set in a mountain range in South Africa, this location is where the people go every year for the initiation.

Scene of the Movie –
Mountain top.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Its not an easy subject matter when you look at the initiation process.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very interesting movie showing us how forbidden love between two men can be in a culture that still practises a form of gender mutilation.


Overall: Culture shock.




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