South African auteur Oliver Hermanus (Beauty 2012) delivers a brutal but radiant story of young gay desire on the Angolan war front.
The year is 1981 and South Africa’s white minority government is embroiled in a conflict on the southern Angolan border. Like all white boys over the age of 16, Nicholas Van der Swart must complete two years of compulsory military service to defend the apartheid regime. The threat of communism and “die swart gevaar” (the black danger) is at an all-time high, but that’s not the only danger Nicholas faces. He must survive the brutality of the army—something that becomes even more difficult when a connection is sparked between Nicholas and a fellow recruit.
The word moffie, a derogatory Afrikaans term, may sound soft but, as this film shows, words are also weapons that need to be vigorously fought against.