After a family dinner one evening, 18-year-old Nicholas (Kai Luke Brummer) slips out of the house and sprints into the distance, swallowed by darkness. It’s a striking image that appears early in South African writer-director Oliver Hermanus’s brilliant, brutal fourth feature, a historical drama about the young white men who were conscripted and trained to defend the apartheid regime in the early 1980s. This prologue sets up Hermanus’s army-bound protagonist as a solitary figure whose differences, however well-hidden, will isolate him from his comrades. Composer Braam du Toit’s tense, dissonant string-led score gives a further sense of an internal storm brewing.
The film was released this week on the Curzon streaming platform in the UK. Curzon released the following trailer, and it has received great reviews, so we can hope it also hits a U.S. streaming platform soon.