A young man in 1981 South Africa must complete his brutal and racist two years of compulsory military service while desperately maintaining the secrecy of his homosexuality.


Oliver Hermanus


Oliver Hermanus (screenplay), Jack Sidey (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
464 ( 1,000)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kai Luke Brummer ... Nicholas van der Swart (as Kai Luke Brümmer)
Barbara-Marié Immelman Barbara-Marié Immelman ... Suzie van der Swart (as Barbara-Marie Immelman)
Michael Kirch ... Miles
Remano De Beer ... Peet van der Swart
Emil van Niekerk ... Instructor on Train
Connor Dowds ... Liberal Recruit
Wynand Ferreira ... Snyman
Rikus Terblanche ... Bester
Matthew Vey ... Michael Sachs
Israel Ngqawuza ... Elderly Black Man
Jacques Theron ... Military Instructor
Ludwig Baxter ... Brent Siebert
Dale Lourens ... Clifford Hertman
Brendan Christopher Van Zyl ... Wian Grobelaar
Jan Combrink ... Jan Gould


Nicholas has long known he is different, that there is something shameful and unacceptable in him that must stay hidden, denied even. But South Africa's minority government are embroiled in conflict at the Angolian border and all white young men over 16 must serve two years of compulsory military service to defend the Apartheid regime and its culture of toxic racist machismo. The 'black danger' is the real and present threat; what is wrong with Nicholas and others like him can be rooted out, treated and cured like a cancer. But just when fear pushes Nicholas to accept unspeakable horrors in the hopes of staying invisible, a tender relationship with another recruit becomes as dangerous for them both as any enemy fire.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Opened in South African cinemas on13 March 2020 to great critical acclaim. However, two weeks later, all the country's cinemas were closed due to the lockdown. See more »


Girls of Emotion
Composed by Leslie Rae Dowling
Courtesy of McCully Music
See more »

User Reviews

The Fatal Word
17 September 2020 | by jromanbakerSee all my reviews

Moffie is an Afrikaan slang word for being Gay. Throughout this film and especially during the atrociously brutal army training it is used along with many other anti-Gay words, and the numbing repetition of the damning words are meant to brainwash the new army recruits. Those who commit homosexual acts are ' sent away ' and are brutalised: one having endured so much under this torture blows his brains out in front of a group of soldiers. Each country has its hushed up and taboo issues and no doubt South Africa would no doubt not have entirely agreed with this brave and extraordinary film. I can also understand why certain Gay/Queer people would be unhappy that the homosexuality was toned down, but then I am not. The few scenes of intimacy are heartbreakingly tender and the most one sees is a tentative kiss on the mouth. This is enough in a film that shows how all tenderness between men is punched, hit, and inwardly murdered out of them. This is a War film that has little heroics and if some of the directors and actors of the spate of War films in the 1950's/60's could see this masterpiece they would probably shudder away from it. I will not give away spoilers about the War scenes but only mention that one killing of one ' enemy ' burnt itself into my brain. This was no hero stuff, but an authorized murder, and the ' killer ' looks numbly down at what he has done and the dying man in his agonizing last breaths stares up at him, telling us more about War than any other film I have seen. Only a great and sensitive director could have shown the inward horrors of War so clearly, but not emphatically. In the same way the lack of emphasis rather than the sexually explicit showing of homosexuality. Overall it is a heart breaking film about what men are forced to do. The ending for me was desolate, but then what else should I have felt ? The fatal word ' Moffie ' destroys in so many ways. As for the acting it was perfect. An Oscar contender ? I sadly doubt it.

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Official Sites:

Moffie Facebook Page


South Africa | UK


Afrikaans | English

Release Date:

9 April 2021 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Moffie See more »

Filming Locations:

Western Cape, South Africa


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,007, 11 April 2021

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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