When Sipho, a former Robben Island inmate for 5 years gets a call from his father to help convince his reluctant younger brother to get circumcised, he procrastinates. Then he gets an anguished letter from this brother Vuyo, informing him that he finally discovered he was adopted at birth. Vuyo is in crisis and is convinced that Sipho knows the truth about his biological parents. Sipho returns to Cape Town to help his brother. Sipho was covertly circumcised in the Robben Island prison but failed to perform the full ceremony so he decides to do so now. Meanwhile, Vuyo announces that he is gay which throws the family into confusion. On the eve of the circumcision ceremony, he attempts suicide. This 'acting out' effectively deflects attention from Sipho's ceremony. The film explores a family and a country trying to embrace both modernity and tradition. While Sipho struggles to help his brother accept his roots, his brother desperately wants to escape them. This extraordinary film is made even more complex by the fact that it is filmed by Sipho's wife who happens to be a white woman, both outsider and insider in this tight-knit family drama.
2005 Award of Excellence - The Society for Visual Anthropology
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