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The Wound

Every year, teenage men from the Xhosa tribe head into the wilderness in the company of mentors to take part in a rite of passage called ukwaluka - a circumcision ceremony that marks their transition from boys to men. Once the wounds have healed, the teenagers return to their families and society to continue with their lives. Disenchanted thirty-something factory worker Xolani (Nakhane Toure) is one of the mentors in charge of candidates and he views these boys with indifference. One of this year's new bloods is Kwanda (Niza Jay Ncoyini), who harks from privileged stock in Johannesburg and has been forced to take part in the ukwaluka because his father thinks it will toughen him up. Kwanda openly questions the ritual, which generates friction with Xolani. Over time, Xolani realises that Kwanda's hostility is a front because the young man is wrestling with his sexuality - the same internal struggle that has condemned Xolani to live in the closet, unable to openly express his feelings for his married childhood friend Vija (Bongile Mantsai).