This weekend, The Wound will become the second South African narrative film to be screened at the Sundance Film Festival in the event’s 39-year history. Following this, on February 9, the film will open the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival, considered one of the top film festivals in the world.
Directed by John Trengrove, The Wound is about Xolani (played by musician and novelist Nakhane Touré), a lonely factory worker who quits his job to become ikhankatha, a Xhosa initiation school facilitator.
Xolani becomes ikhankatha to a defiant initiate (Niza Jay Ncoyini) who discovers a secret that unravels Xolani’s manhood and life. Primarily set within the initiation school environment in Eastern Cape, the story is inspired by Thando Mgqolozana’s novel A man who is not a man and was co-written by Mgqolozana, Malusi Bengu and John Trengrove, and produced by Urucu Media.
The film is likely to cause controversy when it is released locally in July as the subject and practice of ulwaluko (initiation) is a culturally sensitive one among amaXhosa that even women are traditionally not privy to, let alone outsiders.
The Wound premieres in South Africa at the Durban Film Festival in June 2017