After receiving heavy criticism from a number of people, the critically-acclaimed award winning film “Inxeba” (The Wound) finally hit the cinemas on Friday 02. The controversial movie screening had to be cancelled in the Eastern Cape cinemas following the threats of boycotts from some social media users and traditional chiefs. The Daily Vox spoke to a few Durbanites who reacted to the film after the official screening.
Esihle Mncwango, student, Durban
People have been going crazy about the movie on social media without even watching it, and that’s why I decided to watch it. The whole movie was a twist from what I had expected, especially the gay characters. I thought it was more of an expose of the Xhosa culture but realised that what the writers did was to address homosexuality, culture and tradition all at once. This is an eye opener since we grow up in a society where homosexuality is an abomination. I was really curious to find out how gay people are treated in the initiation school and from what I’ve seen, I can confidently say gay men are not accommodated in the Xhosa culture especially initiation schools.
The release of the trailer the film which scooped numerous awards stirred different emotions on social media with more people raising concerns about Xhosa culture being demeaned. However, it has since gained popularity and praises from different activists and celebrities.
Karabo Mabea, 19, student, Durban
The movie has been hit with so much criticism and I think that’s why I decided to watch it. I wanted to find out for myself what’s so wrong with it, also, as a Sotho woman, I wanted to find out how Xhosa culture differs from that of Sotho people especially regarding initiation. After the movie I still don’t know much about initiation process, the movie didn’t give away much. What I noticed about the movie is that it focuses more about sexuality than the actual culture.
Kwezi Lebona, 19, student, Durban
At first I was excited about the movie because I wanted to see what Xhosa people do differently from us, Sotho people. But now I’ve just realised that it’s all an exaggeration, there’s nothing sexual in the initiation schools. And I’m not saying that because I did not encounter it, but I know for a fact. In fact there’s no time for it. I understand why other people wanted to boycott it, I wouldn’t want my own culture to be exposed in such a way, especially if it’s not meant to be.
Swazi Smith, 24, student, Durban
The film was interesting. I thought it was going to expose what happens in the bush. But it went beyond that. So many on social media haven’t watched it and they are condemning it. I came to watch it because I was curious. I would recommend it others, for sure.
Yonela* (name changed), 24, student, Durban
I was surprised by the story line – about it being about gay men – other than that, it did not surprise me. I came to watch the film against the advice of my family, and yes, I think people should watch it.
There is a lot of talk on social media that this film was going to expose the initiation practice. People get very sensitive about this issue. Truth is that the initiation process needs to be safer. They need to be more cautious. They need to be licensed to do that. This is people’s lives we are talking about. Families are often so scared when their sons go up to the mountain, because they don’t know if they will come back.
Featured image via BuzzSouthAfrica.