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Eastern Cape cinemas cancel screenings of Inxeba (The Wound) amid threats

02 February 2018 - 13:01 By Heraldlive Reporter and Kyle Zeeman
Inxeba (The Wound)'s Niza Jay says it is important for audiences not to jump to conclusions about the film.
Inxeba (The Wound)'s Niza Jay says it is important for audiences not to jump to conclusions about the film.
Image: Kyle Zeeman

Two Eastern Cape movie houses have postponed Friday’s release of controversial film Inxeba (The Wound) as several groups have threatened to picket and boycott its screening.

TimesLIVE’s sister publication‚ HeraldLIVE reported that Hemingways Mall in East London announced on Facebook on Friday morning that the screening would be postponed. No immediate reasons were given and officials were not available for comment.

Shortly after‚ Walmer Park shopping centre in Port Elizabeth also announced on Facebook that the screening was postponed following pressure from members of the community.

When contacted by TshisaLIVE, a manager at Montecasino cinemas said the movie was being shown and that there were no disruptions or protests. 

The film depicts the traditional ritual of ukwaluka – a Xhosa tradition into manhood – as well as sexual identity in the form of a gay love story.

Despite the backlash and initiation forum threats‚ producer Elias Ribeiro said it was important to showcase the rich untold stories of the country.

“We have had a positive response from many people in the Xhosa community who feel the movie is well presented‚ but there have also been people from a conservative perspective who are upset‚” he said.

At a pre-screening of the film hosted by TshisaLIVE this week, Elias told the audience that the film's producers were aware of plans to boycott the film but hoped peace would prevail.

"We've shown the film to whoever wanted to watch it. We were prepared for the backlash but have decided to just let the audience decide. I have yet to meet a person who has watched this film and still have an issue with it. Having said that, we hope love not hate will prevail this week. We hope the threats against the film will not materialise.'

Actor Niza Jay said he hoped audiences would not jump to conclusions only based on the film's provocative trailer.

"We didn't make this film for people who watched the trailer and jump to conclusions. It is like a person who looks at windows and think they know the house."