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Sew the Winter to My Skin

Confirming the promise he showed with his powerful Of Good Report (LFF 2013), Jahmil XT Qubeka delivers a superb thriller based on a true story.

Dir-Scr Jahmil XT Qubeka
Prod Layla Swart, Michael Henrichs
With Ezra Mabengeza, Peter Kurth, Kandyse McClure
South Africa
2018
128min
Sales Rushlake Media GmbH
Subtitles

Qubeka’s film follows the escapades of John Kepe, a Robin Hood-like outlaw who, between 1940 and 1951, robbed the homes of racist white settlers in Apartheid-era South Africa. He then distributed his spoils – mostly livestock and bare necessities – amongst local communities, constantly evading the white authorities. But things got out of hand when the retired General Botha led a vigilante hunt for him. Told through flashbacks, from the point when Kepe stood trial and which help explore the nature of memory, Sew the Winter to My Skin is bolstered by Ezra Mabengeza’s charming performance as the rebel outlaw and veteran South African actor Peter Kurth as his nemesis. But the true star is Qubeka, whose visually ravishing film jumps between genres, finding the perfect balance between message and thrills.

Keith Shiri

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