Project Description

The Wound film still

Inxeba (The Wound)

Xolani, a lonely factory worker travels to the mountains of the rural Eastern Cape to help initiate a group of boys from his community into manhood. He lives with painful and dangerous secrets and is challenged by a newcomer to leave his traditional attitudes behind and embrace his hidden identity.  Inxeba (The Wound) has been extremely controversial in South Africa, both for its frank portrayal of homosexuality and for its exploration of the traditional Xhosa coming of age ceremony.

What the critics say…

“ … deals with issues of masculinity, sexuality and community that will strike universal chords with viewers of all stripes …. a dark and stirring variation on the standard coming-of-age narrative.” – Peter Sobczynski –

“The new generation of Africans are redefining what it means to be black, to be a woman and to be gay. Africans must own, direct and tell their stories at all times…there was no better way of telling the story than Inxeba – The Wound.”– Mzwanele Ntshwarti – City Press

“ … a remarkably brave film …. universal in its resonance, despite all the complexity of making a film about a secret cultural ritual.” – Peter Machen – City Press

“The movie made everything public, even the very sensitive and graphic things. It is insulting to the tradition because it stripped the tradition of its secrecy and sacredness.” – AmaXhosa King, Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu


14A – Sexually suggestive scenes


  • Nominated for 8 SAFTA Awards (South African Oscars) including Best Feature Film
  • South African nominee for Academy Award – Best Foreign Language Film
  • Best Actor and Best South African Director – Durban International Film Festival
  • Best Film – Torino LGBTQI Film Festival
  • Best Film – World Cinema Amsterdam
  • Sutherland Award – BFI London Film Festival
  • Audience Award – Sydney Film Festival
  • Best Film – Taipei Film Festival
  • Best Film – Sarasota Film Festival


Director: John Trengove
Writers: Malusi Bengu; Thando Mgqolozana; John Trengove
Run Time: 88 minutes


Community Partners:

South African Cultural Association of BC (SACABC)
Reel Causes