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Moffie 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
Director: Oliver Hermanus
Writers: Oliver Hermanus (screenplay), Jack Sidey (screenplay)
Stars: Kai Luke Brummer, Barbara-Marié Immelman, Michael Kirch
Moffie is an Afrikaan slang word for being Gay. Throughout this film and especially during the atrociously brutal army training it is used along with many other anti-Gay words, and the numbing repetition of the damning words are meant to brainwash the new army recruits. Those who commit homosexual acts are ‘ sent away ‘ and are brutalised: one having endured so much under this torture blows his brains out in front of a group of soldiers. Each country has its hushed up and taboo issues and no doubt South Africa would no doubt not have entirely agreed with this brave and extraordinary film.
I can also understand why certain Gay/Queer people would be unhappy that the homosexuality was toned down, but then I am not. The few scenes of intimacy are heartbreakingly tender and the most one sees is a tentative kiss on the mouth. This is enough in a film that shows how all tenderness between men is punched, hit, and inwardly murdered out of them. This is a War film that has little heroics and if some of the directors and actors of the spate of War films in the 1950’s/60’s could see this masterpiece they would probably shudder away from it. I will not give away spoilers about the War scenes but only mention that one killing of one ‘ enemy ‘ burnt itself into my brain. This was no hero stuff, but an authorized murder, and the ‘ killer ‘ looks numbly down at what he has done and the dying man in his agonizing last breaths stares up at him, telling us more about War than any other film I have seen.
Only a great and sensitive director could have shown the inward horrors of War so clearly, but not emphatically. In the same way the lack of emphasis rather than the sexually explicit showing of homosexuality. Overall it is a heart breaking film about what men are forced to do. The ending for me was desolate, but then what else should I have felt ? The fatal word ‘ Moffie ‘ destroys in so many ways. As for the acting it was perfect. An Oscar contender ? I sadly doubt it.