Jahmil XT Qubeka’s Mdantsane-based film, ‘Knuckle City’ is this year’s South African entry for the highly coveted best International Feature Film award for the 2020 Academy Awards.
Knuckle City has received critical acclaim since its premiere at the 40th edition of Durban International Film Festival (DIFF). The film is currently making its international debut at the Toronto International Film festival (TIFF), where it will premiere in the official Contemporary World Cinema Category and it’s set to premiere in South African theatres on Boxing Day, 26 December 2019.
This richly layered film explores inherent toxic masculinity and the underbelly of the boxing world. It’s a riveting exploration of the psychology of a fighter from the Mdantsane township, long recognised as the boxing mecca of South Africa. For more than three decades, Mdantsane has produced no less than 20 boxing world champions and more than 50 national champions, which provided the fodder for the plot. Beginning in 1994,
‘Knuckle City’ tells the story of Dudu Nyakama (Bongile Mantsai), an aging, womanising, professional boxer from the township and his career-criminal brother Duke (Thembekile Komani) who take one last shot at success and get more than they’ve bargained for.
Qubeka says the energy of the Mdantsane landscape and the visceral fight for survival that is palpable on the streets inspired in him a deep yearning to chronicle the lives of its people through film. “It is my intention to capture the essence of life in Mdantsane, and the restless pursuit of being a champion within a society that often dictates you are a failure. I am determined to give audiences a glimpse into a world rarely seen, and a deeper understanding of the multi-faceted individuals inhabiting our land.”
Knuckle City stars the likes of Bongile Mantsai, Sivuyile Ngesi, Zolisa Xaluva, the legendary Patrick Ndlovu, Owen Skenjana, the late veteran Nomhle Nkonyeni, Khulu Skenjana & Faniswa Yisa.
Directed by Jahmil XT. Qubeka and coming to CINEMAS 27 DECEMBER