Connect with us

Movie Reviews

‘Moffie’ review: Moving queer war drama

A welcome entry.

Moffie is a rare entry in queer cinema. The war drama is based in 1981 South Africa during Apartheid. Nicholas Van der Swart (Kai Luke Brummer) is serving his two years of compulsory military service to defend the current regime against communism and the impending “black danger”. The fight also includes institutionalized homophobia which only becomes worse when he meets a recruit named Dylan Stassen (Ryan de Villiers).

The term “moffie” is an anti-gay slur used in South Africa. It can be used as seemingly harmless teasing that questions a man’s masculinity or it can be targeted hate speech. It is similar to the “Fa” word in America. While the definition of the word is never outright given in Moffie, it is very clear what it means. During training scenes that are reminiscent of Full Metal Jacket, the term is thrown around at any sign of weakness. It is obviously the worst thing a man can be called.

Listen to the latest episode of the AIPT Movies Podcast!

Moffie is an emotionally powerful film. The boot camp that is basically psychological torture is the most prominent example, but there is much more. The scenes between Nicholas and Dylan are equally powerful, though for different reasons. In contrast to the scenes of brutality, they are sensitive and tender. This roller coaster of differing passions keeps the audience engaged.

Adding to the deep feeling in the movie, is the great camerawork. Director Oliver Hermanus brings a euphoric and sinister look to Moffie through the lens. Through it all, there is a sense of paranoia. Moffie is filled with great performances. Along with Brummer and de Villiers, Hilton Pelser is excellent as the sadistic drill sergeant that dominates the first hour or so of the film. Each character brings a new dimension that enables the audience to get further invested in the overall story.

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of stories about underrepresented people being told on film. While this is an overall good thing, there are times when the idea of being a “queer” movie is more important than the feeling behind it. With its strong performances and moving story, Moffie is able to capture the mood and perspective.

Moffie comes to select theaters and digital and online platforms April 9

Join the AIPT Patreon

Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:

  • ❌ Remove all ads on the website
  • 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
  • 📗 Access to our monthly book club
  • 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
  • 💥 And more!
Sign up today

In Case You Missed It

Sick and disturbed: Daniel Hillyard and Doug Wagner unpack new series 'Plush' Sick and disturbed: Daniel Hillyard and Doug Wagner unpack new series 'Plush'

Sick and disturbed: Daniel Hillyard and Doug Wagner unpack new series ‘Plush’

Comic Books

DC Comics Preview: Batman #130 DC Comics Preview: Batman #130

DC Comics Preview: Batman #130

Comic Books

Captain Marvel #43 Captain Marvel #43

‘Captain Marvel’ #43 reunites Carol with the X-Men

Comic Books

DC Preview: The New Golden Age #1 DC Preview: The New Golden Age #1

DC Preview: The New Golden Age #1

Comic Books

Newsletter Signup