Director Oliver Hermanus / 2019 / South Africa,UK

An intense exploration of homophobia and repressed desire in the Apartheid-era South African military, this queer drama is a bruising, tender triumph reminiscent of Beau Travail and Full Metal Jacket.

It’s 1981 and South Africa is in the segregated grip of Apartheid. With a government-led war on the Angolan border looming, closeted 16-year-old Nicholas is recruited into the national army, where homophobia is unrelentingly drilled into the cadets and ‘moffie’ is a widespread slur directed at gay men.

Drawing on the eponymous novel by André Carl van der Merwe, co-writer and director Oliver Hermanus (Beauty, MIFF 2011) takes us from boot camp to battleground, evoking both the structure of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and the evocative, corporeal gaze of Claire Denis’s Beau Travail (MIFF 2000) to capture Nicholas’ sexual awakening in dangerous circumstances. Alternately brutal and tender, Moffie is an unshakeable vision of repressed desire, alienation and violence from South Africa’s finest auteur.

Moffie is Hermanus’ masterpiece in the true sense of the term … establishing him quite plainly as South Africa’s most vital contemporary filmmaker.” – Variety

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