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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:ENG/AFR: white masculinity in two contemporary South African films
Author:Falkof, Nicky
Periodical:Critical Arts: A Journal of Media Studies (ISSN 1992-6049)
Geographic term:South Africa
About persons:Oliver HermanusISNI
Barry Berk
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02560046.2016.1164382
Abstract:This article considers the portrayal of white masculinity in two contemporary South African feature films, its socio-political implications and relation to histories of white identity. These films' protagonists are middle-aged white South African men, both educated, privileged and financially stable, both of whom make sexual choices that are seen as deviant, with damaging consequences. Oliver Hermanus' Skoonheid (2011) is the story of Francois, a married Afrikaans man whose secret homosexual desires lead to obsession and crisis, while Barry Berk's Sleeper's Wake (2012) follows the bereaved John Wraith as he embarks on an affair with a troubled teenage neighbour. The author uses these films' portrayals of white men of a certain status and age to draw comparisons between current manifestations of Afrikaans and white English-speaking South African, or WESSA, masculinity. The way in which Skoonheid is deeply embedded in a sense of Afrikaans culture is contrasted to the way in which Sleeper's Wake is largely denuded of ethnic or cultural identity. These placements are used to discuss the larger effects of the functional invisibility of WESSA identity in post-apartheid South Africa. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]