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The Wound

The Wound

John Trengove

South Africa, Germany, Netherlands, France | 2017 | Genre: Drama | first feature film | running time: 88’

"Hard-edged but beautifully wrought study of clashing Xhosa models of masculinity will be an eye-opener to outsiders — and some South Africans too."
Guy Lodge - Variety

festivals & awards

World Dramatic Competition, Sundance Film Festival 2017


Eastern Cape. A lonely factory worker, Xolani, travels to a secluded
mountain camp near his rural home to participate in a traditional
Xhosa initiation into manhood. He is tasked with mentoring Kwanda,
a gay teenager from Johannesburg who has grown estranged from his
traditional culture. In a ceremony supervised by older men, Kwanda
and five other initiates are ritually circumcised. Over the weeks that
follow, Xolani tries to teach his rebellious initiate about the ways
of Xhosa manhood, but his life is thrown into crisis when Kwanda
discovers his secret. Xolani is in love with his best friend Vija, a married
man from a nearby village.


The Wound
original title





South Africa, Germany, Netherlands, France

running time


produced by

Urucu Media - South Africa

in co-production with

Riva Filmproduktion - Germany
Das Kleine Fernsehspiel - Germany
ARTE/ZDF - Germany
Oak Motion Pictures - Netherlands
Cool Take Pictures - South Africa
Deuxième Ligne Films - France
Sampek Productions - France
Edition Salzgeber - Germany
Figjam Entertainment - South Africa

directed by

John Trengove

written by

John Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana, Malusi Bengu


Pyramide International

A lonely factory worker travels to the rural mountains with the men of his community to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood.
TFL Programmes

FrameWork 2014

TFL Awards

Production Award
€ 50.000

TFL Audience Design Fund 2016

John Trengove

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Elias Ribeiro