A UK newspaper has rated South Africa’s ‘Moffie’ as one of the best films so far this year.
Following the movie’s successful digital launch in South Africa, Moffie was released for streaming on Curzon Home Cinema in the UK at the end of last month… where is was met with an overwhelming positive critical response and was named the Most Watched Film on the Curzon platform in its opening weekend.
The film received 5-star reviews in The Times (5 stars), The Irish Times (5 stars), and major praise in The Guardian (4 stars), The Telegraph (4 stars), Empire Magazine (4 stars) and the Financial Times.
It is The Guardian which has named Moffie on its list of ‘The Best Films of 2020 So Far’. Other films on the prestigious list of 30 notable movies include 1917, Parasite, The Personal History of David Copperfield, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood and The Assistant.
Directed by Oliver Hermanus, Moffie is about two male soldiers in the SA army who are forced to hide their relationship in the brutal macho world of those times.
The Guardian describes the film as “a fiercely engaged, complex drama of sexual identity and suppressed yearning in apartheid-era South Africa – a film with a humid intensity.” The newspaper also says Hermanus is SA’s “most significant auteur in several generations”.
Other reviews in the UK called the film “a breath-taking piece of cinema” and “horribly evocative”.
The film also blew up on social media when journalist Owen Jones described it as “one of the most stunning and harrowing films” that he has ever seen and actor Josh O’Connor (best known for his role as Prince Charles in The Crown) tweeted: “This film is beautiful. I can’t tell you how much I love it.”
In response to this rapturous praise Hermanus says: “Our UK release of Moffie has been nothing short of amazing. Our film has been widely and enthusiastically celebrated by the UK press and it makes me, and I’m sure, everyone else who worked on Moffie, incredibly proud.
“We are putting South African cinema and cinema-makers firmly on the global stage. It has been truly overwhelming.”
The film – which was nominated for three British Independent Film Awards – was due to have its theatrical release in the UK on 24 April, but due to the outbreak of COVID-19 the film was released digitally on their Home Cinema service first and will have its theatrical release as soon as cinemas reopen.
Since premiering at the Venice International Film Festival last September, the film has been lauded globally and has created a number of international opportunities for the South African cast and crew involved in the film.
Both Hermanus and the film’s lead actor, Kai Luke Brümmer (starring as Nicholas van der Swart) were snapped up for international representation, and Hermanus has been in talks with a number of US and UK producers about upcoming projects.
Moffie has been available for streaming in South Africa since 31 March and was made available for streaming in Namibia on 28 April due to public demand. The film is set for release in other global markets in the course of 2020.
MOFFIE is available for streaming in South Africa and Namibia: bit.ly/MoffieSA