Inside Out 2021: Our Review of ‘Kapana’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Inside Out 2021, Movies by - May 27, 2021
Inside Out 2021: Our Review of ‘Kapana’

Kapana is a film where the love interest is a gay man who plays a sport that is not rugby. Thus, it deserves brownie points despite what words the reader will encounter below. Anyway, that soccer player is Simeon (Simon Hanga), who mostly makes his money as a kapana or African barbecue vendor where George (Adriano Visagie) and his insurance office coworkers often go to lunch. This is, Simeon and George met somewhere else before.

Simeon and George met at a bar with the brightest lighting in film history where they snuck off to the bathroom to have safe sex. But since they’re both men, that’s still illegal in Namibia, where they live. They spend enough time together, but the film’s most interesting scenes come when they’re apart and spending time with their families. It shows George as the brother who has his stuff together compared to his brother.

What destroys films like this, regardless of genre, is the acting. There are things that both Hanga and Visagie get right, like the nuances when it comes to class and sexuality. There’s a lot to be desired, however, when it comes to their line deliveries and the emotions that those require. There’s literally one scene where Simeon, post-breakup, hooks up with another bar patron. That scene is good in moments but their movements are lacking.

In fairness, though, Hanga and Visagie have moments where their presence on the screen is enough. It’s a shame that they didn’t have a better director who just want to use them within a PSA. The PSA’s subject, by the way, is about how it’s ok to have a sexual relationship with an HIV positive man. The message deserves better execution, but it is a step in the right direction in African and gay films.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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