Everything you need to know about Vuyo Dabula's new film

What has been dubbed a South African spaghetti-western is getting the love that it deserves and here are 5 reasons why. 

By  | Jun 22, 2020, 01:45 PM  | Vuyo Dabula  | Top of The

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Vuyo dabula

For 2018, the cinema industry is looking to shut all the haters up. When people say we don't have stories we go one up on them. This is what Five Fingers for Marseilles does by taking on a tradition film form and bringing the South African into it. 

Five Fingers for Marseilles is a South African based thriller set in the town which sits just by the border of Lesotho called Marseilles. It's a movie which has been dubbed a spaghetti-western largely because of it's heavy use of motifs usually associated with the movie genre. The movie is about how five friends fight against their own demons to eventually save the land which they grew up in. 


At a staggering 2 hours it makes sure that you get your money's worth of action. Not the first South African spaghetti-western (Umbango, which came out 1986, did that) it does do a great job of creating an interesting narrative around the story of colonialism and apartheid. So, what were the 5 things we liked about it? Well, see for yourself. 

The Cinematography

One thing that has been happening a lot in our cinema is the stepping out of the city and creating movies which take advantage of the beautiful landscapes. Inxeba did this: hectic love scenes took place in sunrise caught pleins or by the tall grass surrounding a waterfall. The same can be said with this movie, the hills and pleins create a beautiful backdrop for the actors to express themselves.

Five_Fingers_for_Marseilles cinematography

Warren Masemola 

Somebody said that Warren Masemola is our country's Meryl Streep. Of course, I questioned this hard. But the thing is, every role this man takes, he kills. Okay, fair enough that he's being cast as a stereotype but he's so good being a thug. Remember that feeling you got whenever you saw Papa Action on Yizo Yizo? Well, he doubles up on that in this movie as Thuto, Sepoko's sidekick. Meritorious mention goes to Mduduzi whose character Luyanda was also really amazing to watch. 

Warren Masemola

The writing

So, basically the villian is called Sepoko. Get it? It's a movie about fighting colonialism and the main villian is Sepoko, ghost, usually WHITE? Right? It took ages to click for me also. It shows how Sean Drummond actually took his time to craft the words for this. Poetic and all engulfing. 

The younger Five Fingers

I grew up on Dynamite Diepkloof dudes and sling shots. So when I saw the younger version of the Five Fingers it really brought back those memories. Something also about holding on to the core of their belief in the face of all odds, even separating and returning as adults to fulfill their duty to the land is one instance of heartwarming goodness. 

Young Five Fingers

The music 

James Matthes did the things here. Ennio Morricone should literally watch out. The music matched the intensity of every scene. Paired together with the acting quality it brought out all the emotion which it meant to. In fact, I'm going to start looking for the soundtrack to play at critical and tense moments at home. 

All in all, the movie is a must see. Everything blended well into a story about the lengths people are willing to go to to protect their homes. It could make for amazing critical analysis pieces and great scenes.

Image credit: Instagram/vuyodabula 

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