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Moffie Film +TwoDadsAndAKid


We finally got to watch the much anticipated movie, “MOFFIE“. Not even Eskom and its ubiquitous load shedding could stop the premiere from taking place at the Ster-Kinekor cinema complex at Cedar Square. Dressed in our best evening attire we got to rub shoulders with the local Gauteng celebs like Tamara Dey, Zavion and his husband and a bevy of other homosexuals and allies. Undeterred by a little rain on arrival and the dark cinema theatres, the guests arrived and looked forward to the screening of the movie. We got to watch the celebs walk down the red carpet, along with the gorgeous cast and director of the movie. Finally, 30 minutes late according to the schedule, the power was back and we were in business!


“The film is an exploration of how this generation of boys, innocent to a degree, were militarised and racialised and programmed to hate” – Oliver Hermanus, Film Director (Gay Pages, Autumn 2020)



Based on the autobiography by André Carl Van Der Merwe, this South African movie, “Moffie”, is a harrowing coming-of-age film written and directed by Oliver Hermanus, a Cape Townian with other films to his credit, amongst others, “Shirley Adams”,  award-winning, “Beauty” (Skoonheid), and “The Endless River”. 

The film is set in 1981 South Africa and revolves around a young man about to enter adulthood, Nicholas van der Swart, portrayed by Kai Luke Brümmer, is conscripted into South Africa’s military, where many of these young men still naive and innocent, were militarised and programmed to hate. Nicholas knows he is different and immediately knows that he must keep himself “under-the-radar”. However, when another recruit  Dylan Stassen, portrayed by Ryan de Villiers, develops an intimate relationship with him, Nicholas grapples with his attraction to Dylan trying hard to suppress his desire lest his “secret” be discovered and he is “outed”. Hermanus doesn’t shy away from depicting some of the harsh realities of the time, like the hateful and divisive prejudices of the Apartheid regime at the time.

Brümmer, in his first full-length feature film, gives an incredible performance, drawing the audience in and forcing them to embrace the myriad of emotions that so many of these young men went through in the army. Hilton Pelser, as Sergeant Brand, was so believable in his role and has to be mentioned for his incredible performance. 



It’s definitely a movie you have to go and watch if simply to appreciate what so many young men had to endure when being drafted into the army. This was not only compulsory but the norm during National Party governed South Africa when it sent its caucasian sons to defend its borders against infiltration from neighbouring countries. However, although its a film with commendable cinematography and direction, we felt that the ending was a bit of an anti-climax and could have been more compelling. Is there perhaps a sequel? Go and watch it for yourself and share your thoughts. 

Kudos to Hermanus and the cast of “Moffie” for the nominations in the Best Film category at the London Film Festival 2019. It also received two nominations at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, for the Queer Lion Award and Venice Horizons Award.



photo credit: Moffie Film 

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