AmaXhosa king Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu and Contralesa’s youth wing in the Eastern Cape have criticised, The Wound Inxeba, a film that documents traditional circumcision in South Africa, saying it is inappropriate.
Sigcawu and other traditional leaders have reportedly planned to lodge a complaint to the Film and Publication Board and National Heritage Council about the film that they argue is “too graphic”.
“The movie made everything public – even the very sensitive and secret things. It is insulting to the tradition because it stripped the tradition of its secrecy and sacredness. This will provoke the wrath of ancestors. Attacking and insulting this custom is an attack to our ancestors,” Sigcawu told The Times.
Contralesa youth wing chairperson Prince Ntsindisi Mdunyelwa told the publication he would mobilise society to call for a ban on any broadcasting of content related to traditional circumcision.
However, director John Trengove said the film was receiving backlash even though he chose to omit much of the rite.
“The film has already come under a lot of fire for simply existing,” Trengove told CNN.
The film’s lead actor, musician Nakhane Toure, said people were “just really mad” that the film existed even though they did not know what the film was about or who made it.
“People were mad that a specific passage was being mentioned. But underneath it was the whole idea that the queerness made it even more perverse. It exacerbated how disgusting it was to them in their eyes,” told CNN.
South Africans have also taken to social media to boycott the film, saying it was an “insult” to culture.
Veteran actor Florence Masebe said though she was all for art pushing boundaries, her “traditional self is conflicted on subject matter”.
“We saw clips of
#InxebaTheWound a year ago. A Xhosa person whose opinion I respect had a problem with the title, never mind the film,” she said.
The movie will be out in cinemas in February next year, but social media users say they will stage protests outside the cinemas.
Watch the trailer below: