The Wound

A stunning debut from South African filmmaker John Trengove, this tense and intimate drama unfolds in a rural Xhosa community in South Africa that initiates teenage boys into manhood through circumcision. The boys recover for weeks afterward in a camp near the mountains, supervised by men who have undergone the procedure themselves. Two of these caregivers use the annual retreat as a haven for their illicit gay romance, though in this homophobic culture they’re no safer in the wilderness than in their patriarchal village, where one of them has a wife and children. Soon one of the initiates—a gay rich kid from Johannesburg—discovers their secret, which leads to violent and tragic consequences. Nakhane Touré, an openly gay South African singer and novelist, is particularly good as the other, unmarried caregiver, whose fear and loneliness are palpable. In Xhosa and Afrikaans with subtitles.