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Gay Love Blooms in 1981 Wartime South Africa in Acclaimed Film Moffie 

Gay Love Blooms in 1981 Wartime South Africa in Acclaimed Film Moffie 


The much-praised film was set to have an international theatrical showing but is slowly being released on streaming platforms. 

The critically acclaimed gay-themed film Moffie, from South African director Oliver Hermanus, was set for an international theatrical release, but due to near-worldwide stay-at-home orders, it's now available via streaming on Curzon in the United Kingdom and is likely to hit streaming platforms in the United States soon.

Set in the military in 1981, Moffie (a gay slur in Afrikaans) follows soldiers from the barracks to the battlefield. Toxic masculinity and tender love clash in the film that unfolds at the Angola border as part of the Namibian War of Independence.

Kai Luke Brummer stars as Nicholas, a soldier in the South African National Defense Force who finds himself irresistibly drawn to an enigmatic new recruit, Dylan Stassen (Ryan de Villiers).

The film garnered acclaim when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year. And its juxtaposition of military life and homoeroticism has been compared to classics like Clair Denis's 1999 film Beau Travail.

A review in Variety called Moffie "a director's triumph first and foremost: a dogs-of-war hellride of Full Metal Jacket intensity, a queer coming-of-age meditation with something of Moonlight's salt-on-skin tenderness, and a scorching evocation of South Africa's Border War shame with no major precedent in a national cinema still working through its blind spots."

Watch the trailer below.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist