A blow against censorship

A scene from the film, 'Inxeba', that has sparked controversy for its portrayal of homosexuality amid the process of initiation.
A scene from the film, 'Inxeba', that has sparked controversy for its portrayal of homosexuality amid the process of initiation.
Image: Supplied

The movie Inxeba - The Wound returns to cinemas on Friday following yesterday's interim court order setting aside its classification by film authorities as pornography.

The court decision has been hailed as a victory for the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.

However, there is no denying that it would leave many of the movie's adherent opponents up in arms.

Ever since it was first announced that the multi-talented and openly gay singer and actor Nakhane Mahlakahlaka would be starring in a love story of two men who meet at an initiation school, there has been conflict between traditionalists and proponents of artistic freedom.

Both sides hold strong views and their arguments are now subject of the proceedings at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

As a newspaper we will always favour erring on the side of the freedom of expression and would prefer that no work of art, as long as it is within legal bounds, is banned.

We certainly oppose censorship, especially if it is fueled by homophobia, even though those calling for Inxeba ban insist they are prompted by the quest to "defend a sacred" African culture.

However, we do accept the sensitivities relating to the treatment of our various cultures and traditional practices. We do so precisely because we still have fresh memories of how these were often distorted by our colonial conquerors in order to justify their claim that Africans were sub-human.

Now that the courts are dealing with the matter of the film's classification and have seen it fit for the movie to continue being on screen while the legal process unfolds, we believe that there is no reason whatsoever for anyone to resort to violent conduct in a bid to stop the showing of Inxeba.

The violence we have seen when the film opened on local circuit last month will hopefully remain a thing of the past.

Let the courts make their final determination as to the future of the movie and those who want to see it in the meantime should be allowed to do so without any intimidation.

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