Objection to 'Inxeba' is censorship
The release of local movie, Inxeba, in SA at the weekend was met with derision from certain quarters.
But those opposed to the now controversial movie have not done their cause any good in the way they have gone about it.
Inxeba, The Wound, is based on the Xhosa rite of passage but with a homosexual twist to the tale. Critics, many without as much as seeing the film, have declared that it ridicules and disrespects the Xhosa culture and the initiation tradition.
Traditionally, what happens on the mountain - in a manner of speaking - stays on the mountain.
That has been a time-honoured practice that many find way too sacred to challenge in a society that has evolved so much that there are hardly any holy cows left.
The protest against Inxeba has brought those objecting to its screening some victories with movie houses withdrawing the production in Eastern Cape cities and Cape Town due to sustained pressure and threat of violence; in some instances cinema staff were physically threatened.
Viewed from the other perspective, the withdrawal of the movie amounts to nothing but censorship and an encroachment on the rights of others.
Yes, every right has its limitation, but censorship takes this country to a dark age that will eventually lead us to a slippery slope at the bottom of which there will be little other freedoms to speak of.
Once people are denied the right to information, history has repeatedly taught humankind that it becomes easier for those who seek to deny others their rights to travel a lot further down the road to total oppression.
In defence of his stance that the movie be taken off circuit, singer Loyiso Bala argues that film-makers needed to "... respect the wishes of other people".
Therein lies the rub. Whose wishes are to be respected above those of others? Wouldn't letting people decide what movie to watch, Inxeba included, be granting everyone their wish?
If you don't want to watch it, don't.
In an open society of today, many old traditions and beliefs will time and again be challenged.
The best argument would be to make a film that would counter the views you oppose and let the people decide what they want to see.