Last month, the gay film The Inxeba/The Wound, was banned in South Africa, which happens to be its country of origin. Now, after complaints from the film’s creators/producers, the movie will return to South African theaters.
The film, which focuses on the coming-of-age ritual held privately by the men of the amaXhosa tribe, gained great praise overseas. Unfortunately, the film also caused great controversy in its native country.
After going around the globe and making its way in the indie film circuit, the Inxeba came back to South Africa for wide release in the country. Unfortunately, the Xhosa people (who are the second-largest ethnic group in South Africa) were waiting to take the movie down.
What followed the film’s release in the country was widespread pushback. The film’s cast were getting death threats, movie theaters were being stormed and threatened, and other people protested both online and on the street.
There continues to be disputes over what is the cause of all this controversy. The Xhosa people claim that its due to the film’s white director and Xhosa co-writer exploiting and sharing the secret tradition belonging to the amaXhosa tribe. Others say the Xhosa are purely being homophobic and using the heritage claim as an excuse.
No matter what the cause was, the country’s Film and Publication Board got involved and banned the film. Though part of their reasoning was that the film had created “increased tensions in society,” what ultimately led to the re-classifying of the film as X18 (pornography).
But, looks like that is no longer the case.
Due to the film not containing graphic depictions of sex or any closeups of genitals, the director and producers behind The Wound sued.
Now, word has reached our ears that the South African high court has decided to overturn the Film and Publication Board’s decision.
“A high court ruling Tuesday overturned the earlier decision by the Film and Publication Board’s Appeal Tribunal, giving the controversial film a pending 18-and-over restriction until the matter returns to court March 28.”
“Producer Cait Pansegrouw hailed the decision, which she called a ‘temporary victory.’
“It is still rated 18,” she said, citing the ‘unlawful reclassification’ of a film that was originally deemed suitable for audiences over the age of 16. “This is no longer a fight for [‘The Wound’]. This is a fight for the freedom and rights of all South African artists and filmmakers.”