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‘It’s a Triggering Film’: Visceral South African Drama Moffie

Since its premiere in Venice, South African film ‘Moffie’ has been attracting a lot of attention for its searing portrayal of a gay soldier in apartheid South Africa. For its director, Oliver Hermanus, it may prove to be the film that cements his place in South African film history. A gay director born after the events depicted in the film, Hermanus was intrigued by the possibilities of exploring a regimented realm denied to men of colour in the apartheid era, while finding common ground in his closeted white protagonist’s suffering under a vicious Afrikaner patriarchy. “The subject matter did bother me at first,” he says from his home outside Cape Town, where he’s self-isolating under coronavirus lockdown. “It was my mum who actually said to me, ‘Why make another film about white men in apartheid South Africa?’