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[Sundance ’21] ‘Five Tiger’ review: Stunning directing and storytelling

Captivating short paints a vivid portrayal of gendered expectations

Nomawonga Khumalo’s short film Five Tiger is about the many hardships faced by a woman in South Africa who is tasked as the sole provider for her family. Khumalo’s film deals with many issues regarding financial insecurity, faith, and gender roles in the community.

Ayanda Seoka plays a woman who tends the field and searches for work while her injured husband stays at home. Their relationship is cold and it is clear the injury has taken a toll on his morale. Seoka gives an exceptional performance and exudes strength. The film follows her as she swallows her feelings when she is disappointed, frustrated, and stoic when she must perform sex acts for money.

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Despite the hardships, this character of mother and wife, finds happiness and peace. Five Tiger is tragic and fraught with stark realism. Beautiful direction and strong performances make this a must watch.

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