7 March 2018

South Africa: The 'Other(ness)' Problem of Inxeba


Yes, LGBTIQ+ stories do deserve to be made more public. Yes, the arguments forwarded by traditional leaders about Inxeba are nothing but representations of hegemonic traditionalist masculinities. Yes, the decision by the Film and Publication Board to classify it within the same category as pornography set decades of struggle against homophobia back. And yes, those who care for the advancement of the democratic project are right to protest against this and other forms of ignorant silencings. Yet there is a deeper, less colourful problem with Inxeba. By PHILILE NTULI.

During an interview with Eusebius McKaiser earlier in September 2017, John Trengove referred to the film, which he directs, as "ceba"/"iceba". This garbled account is repeated later during the interview. It shouldn't matter much, weighed against the display of grandiose cinematographic genius throughout the film. But it should. Here's why.

First, because it pokes the wounds that continue to fester in the many black tongues that have rolled over backwards for decades to pronounce English words "correctly". For the director of a film centred on a sacred African ritual, it is disrespectful.

Second, and consequently, that the film can easily be summarised as a successfully constructive critique of the multiple brands...

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