South African filmmaker Jahmil X.T. Qubeka returns to the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival with this rousing reimagining of the hunt for John Kepe, an outlaw in 1950s South Africa who robbed from white colonist farmers and gave to the impoverished Indigenous poor, becoming a threat to the foundations of Apartheid society.
For decades, Kepe stole livestock and other goods from white colonist farmers and shared his spoils with the impoverished Indigenous population. His acts — and that he evaded capture for more than 12 years — earned him the title of folk hero to some, and a notorious bandit to others.
On one hand, Sew the Winter to my Skin is a keenly observed epic-adventure drama that captures the horrors of South Africa’s racist colonial regime, but also subverts the conventions of the period piece by using limited dialogue and an immersive score.
Watch the trailer below.