Kai Luke Brummer as “Nicholas” in Oliver Hermanus’ MOFFIE. Courtesy of IFC Films. An IFC Films release.

Not since Top Gun has there been a movie dripping with toxic masculinity and homoeroticism.

In 1981 Apartheid is still thriving in South Africa and 16 year old Nicholas (Kai Luke Brümmer) has been drafted into the army for a mandatory two year stint. There he and a dozen other young men will endure grueling physical and psychological abuse in order to be trained well enough in combat for the Angola Bush War.

During a cold, wet night of training Nicholas and Dylan (Ryan de Villiers) share a sleeping bag and some stolen glances. After seeing what happened to two other cadets who got busted being naked with each other, Nicholas and Dylan hide their real feelings for each other for fear of a fate worse than death. Nicholas goes on leave only to come back to find out that Dylan isn’t coming back.

Co-written by Oliver Hermanus & Jack Sidey, adapted from the novel by André Carl van der Merwe, based on his own experiences as a teenager, director Oliver Hermanus expresses a dark, gritty glimpse into the vile practice that is military service. Taking teenagers, some of whom have been poisoned by society into believing that the Black inhabitants of their country are the problem, and giving them guns. They are unstable and lack the emotional maturity to make a decision that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Hermanus successfully conveys how the systematic programming of young people will destroy them mentally and further push them down a rabbit hole of self loathing and the eventual self destruction.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

IFC Films will release MOFFIE Friday, April 9, 2021 (In Select Theaters and on Digital and VOD Platforms)

Review – Moffie

Reviewed online (screener provided by IFC Films), March 28, 2021. Rating: TBC. Running time: 104 min.

PRODUCTION: (USA) An IFC Films release of a Portobello production. Producers: Eric Abraham, Jack Sidey. Executive producer: Philip Prettejohn.

CREW: Director: Oliver Hermanus. Writers: Oliver Hermanus, Jack Sidey (based on the book by André Carl van der Merwe). Cinematography: Jamie D Samsay. Editing: Alain Dessauvage, George Hanmer. Music: Braam du Toit.

CAST: Kai Luke Brümmer, Michael Kirch, Remano De Beer, Wynand Ferreira, Rikus Terblanche, Matthew Vey, Ludwig Baxter, Dale Lourens, Brendan Christopher Van Zyl, Ryan de Villiers.

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