The South African landscape is stark and arid and its military are shot in tight, boxy formations by filmmaker Oliver Hermanus. Despite these unforgiving surroundings, something tender and forbidden blooms. Co-written and produced by the UK’s Jack Sidey, this sparsely-scripted but deeply atmospheric drama contains moments of both menace and majesty.
South Africa, 1981. 16-year-old Nicholas (Kai Luke Brummer) is conscripted into the military service to defend the apartheid regime. But while contending with the brutality of the army, he also faces more imminent danger when he forms an intimate connection with a fellow recruit.