The contemporary South African Western Five Fingers for Marseilles made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. With subsequent screenings at Fantastic Fest, BFI London Film Festival, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the film is already making waves. On Friday 6 April it hits South African cinemas, giving you the chance to check out this local film on South Africa soil.
Check out the film synopsis below and head to cinemas today!
Apartheid South Africa: The community of Railway, attached to the remote town of Marseilles, are the victims of brutal police oppression and only the young Five Fingers are willing to stand up to them. Their battle is heartfelt but innocent, until hot-headed Tau kills two policemen in an act of passion. He flees, leaving his brothers and friends behind, but his action has triggered a violent fight that will leave both Marseilles and the Five Fingers changed.
Twenty years later, Tau is released from prison, now a feared and brutal outlaw, ‘The Lion of Marseilles’. But scarred and empty, he renounces violence and returns to Marseilles desiring only peace and to reconnect with those he left behind.
At first, Tau finds Marseilles a town seemingly at peace. The battle for freedom was won, and now the grown Five Fingers are in prominent positions – as mayor, police chief, and pastor of the old church.
But when Tau reconnects with his childhood love, Lerato, now proprietress of the local tavern, and her fiery son, Sizwe, it becomes clear that rather than the haven he hoped for, Marseilles is caught in the grip of a vicious new threat and to his dismay, his old allies themselves may have allowed it in. Tau can keep his head down only so long. When he and his loved ones become direct targets, he is reluctantly compelled to fight again, once and for all.
Calling on his partners-in-crime and with new friends at his side, Tau reforms the Five Fingers. Standing against old allies and new enemies alike, they must put their lives at the greatest risk for the sake of Marseilles.
It’s their duty to protect it. Even from each other.
Five Fingers for Marseilles fuses western influences, from classic to spaghetti and revisionist eras, into a contemporary South African drama played in local tongue by four generations of acclaimed South African stars, led by television icon, Vuyo Dabula. The great Westerns have always contained socio-political threads, and Five Fingers’ loose allegory on today’s South Africa is edge-of-the-seat and starkly human.