Five Fingers for Marseilles (2017) - South Africa - Western Thriller - Not Rated
Directed by Michael Matthews
Written by Sean Drummond
Starring Vuyo Dabula, Zethu Dlomo, Kenneth Nkosi, Jerry Mofokeng, Mduduzi Mabaso, Lizwi Vilakazi, Hamilton Dhlamini, Dean Fourie, Kenneth Fok, Anthony Oseyemi, Warren Masemola, Garth Breytenbach, Aubrey Poolo, Brendon Daniels
Five boys in the township of Marseilles in South Africa form a pact to fight against the corrupt police oppression. They call themselves the Five Fingers, vowing not to become like their oppressors. But one day one of them crosses a new line in defending one of their own resulting in the death of two police officers. A self-imposed exile from Marseilles for him leads to a life of crime and violence, until some 20 years later he returns to Marseilles, a stranger, in what seems on the outside to have won the fight against oppression. But what lurks within, even within themselves, is a greater threat than what they overcame. Will he and his brothers in the Five Fingers be able to stand together... or apart?
The story itself is highly allegorical. Most potent of these is the Christ figure represented by the central protagonist of the story, Tau, as well themes of crucifixion and resurrection. Ironically, central to the antagonist is one of entrenched legacy. The mixing of a western with socio-political and spiritual themes dates back to the beginnings of cinema. Perhaps that's why this seems such a good fit for Five Fingers for Marseilles.
Five Fingers for Marseilles features a wonderful South African cast, and obviously a skilled crew. Sight and sound are beautiful to behold. The music throughout is tempestuous. It is subtitled, but this keeps the film text in check as even with reading the dialogue you can get a feel for what the actor is saying without having to understand the words.