Moffie is an intense and, at times, a cruel story about being a young man who doesn’t fit into a culture that cultivates masculinity, racism and violence in South-Africa in the 1980s. The title refers to an Afrikaans derogatory term designating gay people – the very worst designation according to many of the characters in the film.
Nicholas is conscripted to the Angolan war front in the early 1980s. His troop is supposed to protect the Apartheid regime and defeat communism. Nevertheless, it’s not the war that constitutes the biggest threat, it’s rather the troop’s internal culture, which is imbued with racism, homophobia and cultural conflicts. For Nicholas, the most significant danger of all is his attraction to a fellow soldier.
Despite its painful themes, Moffie is a stunning film from director Oliver Hermanus, South Africa’s «most vital contemporary filmmaker» (Variety). Increasing the tension in a masterly fashion both through sound and image, Hermanus spell-binds the audience, whether the troop is in the camp or in the trenches.