Even Birds are Chained to the Sky

Moffie

Director: Oliver Hermanus

Cast: Kai Luke Brummer, Ryan de Villiers, Hilton Pelser, Matthew Vey, Stefan Vermaak, Wynand Ferreira

Please note this film is mostly in Afrikaans with English Subtitles

After premiering at the prestigious 2019 Venice International Film Festival and then going on to be shown at the London Film Festival among many other international film festivals including Marrakesh, Rotterdam and Palm Springs, South African director of Skoonheid, Oliver Hermanus successfully deconstructs patriarchy in his powerful and controversial new film Moffie set in Apartheid South Africa during compulsory military conscription in 1981 when the government at the time was fighting the communist regime in Angola known as the border war. Moffie opens in South African cinemas on Friday 13th March 2020.

Heavily influenced by queer film director Tom Ford, Moffie is a superb film expertly exploring the concepts of male sexuality in a war zone.

Director Oliver Hermanus threads a delicate tale of unrequited love between two military scabs or new army recruits Dylan Stassen played by Ryan de Villiers and the central character Nicholas Van der Swart beautifully played by the gorgeous Kai Luke Brummer.

During a strenuous basic training sequence whereby the new army recruits are left in some deserted part of Southern Africa and have to survive in a trench together over night, de Villiers and Van der Swart find an awkward solace by recognizing each other’s mutual desire.

What makes Moffie so emotionally powerful is that unlike in Skoonheid, Hermanus does not resort to the explicit but more towards what could have been as de Villiers and Van der Swart have to each endure their own personal journey in an extremely toxic masculine environment fraught with fear, aggression and a double-edged comradery between the young army recruits.

Viewers must watch this film as a historical piece about a particularly unpleasant part of South African history pre-1994, where conservatism ruled over individualism and the military machine demonised homosexuality.

Moffie is a brutal and honest look at sexuality and war, a beautiful tale with some vivid scenes punctuated by some harsh dialogue and deeply disturbing images. Ultimately, director Oliver Hermanus has created his masterpiece, a concerted cinematic effort about the nature of being queer while exploring an unforgiving environment which does not allow for personal expression or sexual freedom.

As Stassen and Van der Swart navigate this treacherous world in which the film is set in, Stassen makes a point of inscribing their predicament: Even Birds are Chained to the Sky.

Moffie gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10 and is definitely worth seeing. This remarkable piece of cinema will become a relevant discussion point in contemporary South Africa and in the wider world where queer rights are enshrined in more liberal constitutions.

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
March 2020
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
  • Annecy Winner ‘Memoir of a Snail’ Gets U.S. Release Date From IFC Films (EXCLUSIVE)
    IFC Films has announced the U.S. release date for the animated feature “Memoir of a Snail,” directed by Academy Award winner Adam Elliot. This charming stop-motion adult drama took nearly a decade to create and will open in limited release on Oct. 25, with a wider expansion throughout November. The film follows the life of […]
    Clayton Davis
  • ‘The Boys’ Cast Answers Burning Questions About Season 4’s Devastating Ending and That Mid-Credits Scene
    SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of “The Boys,” previously titled “Assassination Run” and relabeled “Season Four Finale” before Thursday launch, now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video. These interviews were conducted before the attempted assassination of Donald Trump. “The Boys” Season 4 ended in the darkest timeline possible, with almost […]
    Jennifer Maas
  • ‘The Boys’ Actor Claudia Doumit on Victoria Neuman’s ‘Twisted’ Finale Shocker
    SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of “The Boys,” previously titled “Assassination Run” and relabeled “Season Four Finale” before Thursday launch, now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video. This interview was conducted before the attempted assassination of Donald Trump. “The Boys” actor Claudia Doumit is split (quite literally, onscreen) on her […]
    Jennifer Maas
  • Sabrina Carpenter Unveils International Dates for Her ‘Short n’ Sweet’ Tour
    Singer-songwriter Sabrina Carpenter has announced her upcoming global tour in support of her album “Short n’ Sweet,” due out Aug. 23. Carpenter is set to visit the UK and Europe in 2025 on a headlining arena tour that kicks off with a North American leg in Sept. 23 in Columbus, Ohio. Carpenter has already sold […]
    Thania Garcia
  • Max Launches 50% Discount for College Students
    Despite Max hiking prices for its ad-free plans this month, the streamer has announced a 50% discount on their ad-supported monthly plan, reducing the cost from $9.99/month to $4.99/month. Max is partnering with UNiDAYS, a leading verification-enabled platform for students, to confirm students’ active status. When verification is complete, users will receive a unique discount code […]
    Atingley4
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90