Director: Oliver Hermanus

2021, South Africa, 104, NR

Screenwriter: Oliver Hermanus and Jack Sidey adapted from André Carl van der Merwe’s autobiographical 2006 novel.

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


Just released in cinemas, August’s Queer Thursdays selection is a devastating look back at the apartheid nation of South Africa in 1981. As required, 16-year-old Nicholas Van der Swart (Kai Luke Brummer) is serving two years of compulsory military service, in this case fighting a hostile regime on the Angolan border. For Nicholas, the experience is life-changing, as he cautiously explores his sexuality with a fellow soldier. But challenging the strict status quo makes it clear – that racism, toxic masculinity and homophobia go hand in hand. Received a British Academy Awards nomination for Outstanding debut by a British writer or director (Jack Sidey and Oliver Hermanus)

“This piercing, perfectly formed new film is Hermanus’ masterpiece… establishing him quite plainly as South Africa’s most vital contemporary filmmaker.” – Guy Lodge, Variety.