21 February 2018

South Africa: Love of Power Vs Power of Love - a Tale of Two Stories - Inxeba and Black Panther

Photo: The Wound/Facebook
Inxeba - The Wound.
analysis

If a movie's success is its audience's agreement that it's delivered on its makers' artistic promises, then the respective viewers of Inxeba and Black Panther seem to have started this year on a cultural high note. So why, in the absence of complaints from its actual intended audiences, has the Films and Publications Board upgraded Inxeba (or downgraded it, depending on your perspective) to an X-rating?

We saw the state recoil from the backlash when Generation's Jason and Senzo kissed; we saw the outcry when We The Brave ran an ad with a same-sex kiss. I submit we're more comfortable, as society, with violent men than we are with vulnerable men.

That's not a dig at Black Panther: I haven't watched the Marvel creation yet, and I'm quite looking forward to it. But I have questions about some reviewers' overtones of, not quite black triumphalism, but indomitability. I find startling the contrast between those and reactions to Inxeba's explicit depiction of something that scares us more than the choice between explicit sex and explicit violence: "the wound" of human vulnerability.

Judging by reviews, one could be forgiven for concluding that unlike Inxeba, Black Panther is the undisputed Truth -- with...

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