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Directed by Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, Sew the Winter to My Skin is a Western-style epic centered on John Kepe, a legendary outlaw who achieved folk hero status in pre-apartheid South Africa.
“Qubeka’s largely wordless, diffuse, time-scrambled narrative feels willfully confusing at first, but it rewards patient viewers with its sensory riches and hypnotic rhythms,” The Hollywood Reporter wrote in its review. “The effect is somewhat reminiscent of Terrence Malick’s latter-day oeuvre, where speech is often subsumed into the grand symphonic roar of history.”
The film premiered in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.
Sew the Winter to My Skin is South Africa’s 15th entry in the best foreign-language film Oscar race since 1989. In 2005, Tsotsi, directed by Gavin Hood, won an academy award. A year earlier, Darrell Roodt’s Zulu was nominated.
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