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The Wound(Inxeba)

Eastern Cape, South Africa. A lonely factory worker, Xolani, takes time off his job to assist during an annual Xhosa circumcision initiation into manhood. In a remote mountain camp that is off-limits to women, young men, painted in white ochre, recuperate as they learn the masculine codes of their culture. In this environment of machismo and aggression, Xolani cares for a defiant initiate from Johannesburg, Kwanda, who quickly learns Xolani's best-kept secret, that he is in love with another man.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

83

The Playlist by

Wherever you may fall on its ending, The Wound is a movie worth watching for myriad reasons, not least of which is the fact that it’s as emotionally and dramatically compelling as any American indie to come out this year. Seek it out and see it on the big screen.
80

Screen International by Allan Hunter

The initial promise of a South African Brokeback Mountain broadens into a measured consideration of class, race, self-loathing and self-assertion in a compact but pleasingly complex drama.
60

TheWrap by Dan Callahan

The writing in The Wound can be conventional and overly explanatory, but this doesn’t matter because the subject is so fresh.
75

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

The plot ends in a place that feels honest and true, but it gets lost in a kind of narrative no-man’s land on its way there.
100

The New York Times by Glenn Kenny

Mr. Trengove shoots the film in intimate wide-screen, getting in close to the performers as their characters tamp down explosive feelings, often letting the spectacular landscapes behind them break down into soft-focus abstractions. His direction is perfectly judged up to and including the shudder-inducing ending.
63

Slant Magazine by Keith Watson

Though the film settles into a familiar coming-of-age trajectory, it's always enlivened by John Trengove's intimate, inquiring eye.
75

The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

The Wound excels so long as it hangs back a bit, watching Xolani struggle to project the authority that his role demands, despite being acutely aware of his own vulnerability.
88

RogerEbert.com by Peter Sobczynski

The result is a dark and stirring variation on the standard coming-of-age narrative that, much like its central characters, does not follow the path one might expect.

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