22 user 32 critic

Moffie (2019)

1:01 | Trailer
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... See full summary »


Oliver Hermanus


Oliver Hermanus (screenplay), Jack Sidey (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 10 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.

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Drama | Romance | War


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Did You Know?


As of May 2020, it holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. See more »


Please Don't Smile
Written by Dennis Leroux
Performed by Denny Leroux
Courtesy of Sophie Small, Music Gateway Ltd
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User Reviews

an unfinished review
17 March 2020 | by reney-96617See all my reviews

As extraordinary and as hauntingly beautiful as Skoonheid (Oliver Hermanus's second film) was, I could only recommend it to die-hard cinephiles, and still then I included a warning. It all builds up to a crushing scene which traumatised this rather thick-skinned reviewer. It attests to the power of the film. Moffie, even more extraordinary and more hauntingly beautiful than Skoonheid, is not Skoonheid. Everyone should see it. No warning necessary.

The first few frames - in 4:3 format, flawlessly colour-treated and styled, shot on a perfect location - immediately places you in what is unmistakably the 80s, in apartheid South Africa. Everything is beautiful though, from the brooding landscapes, the wind in the grass, the dreamy lighting, to the underwater shots and the young men. The beauty does not, however, lull you into a false sense of safety, because as the cello music builds from a whimper to a scream, you know what lies underneath the water's surface. You fully understand the threat posed to this gentle boy. So, you wait for it to come tumbling down. Whether it does or not, I will not say.

Along the way, there are brutal scenes of war, anger, toxic masculinity and blind nationalism. There are also tender moments of sharing a sleeping bag, singing "Sugarman" and a desperate wink when words fail. It is these tender moments that make the brutal moments more bearable, but also so much more brutal.

I am leaving this review unfinished, for if I describe the wordless, aching scene between Brand and Nicholas, a scene that represents the brilliance of this film, I will give away too much and spoil it for you. The only other thing I will say, is that Skoonheid dealt with repressing the desire and anger of one man. Moffie deals with repressing and brutalising a whole generation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Moffie Facebook Page


South Africa | UK


Afrikaans | English

Release Date:

20 July 2020 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Moffie See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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