Home Entertainment South African Western Five Fingers For Marseilles cleans up at the 14th Africa Movie Academy Awards

South African Western Five Fingers For Marseilles cleans up at the 14th Africa Movie Academy Awards

2 min read

Five Fingers For Marseilles, the South African neo-Western film directed by Michael Matthews has gathered phenomenal critical acclaim. One particularly lovely website called it “visually arresting” and “utterly gripping.”

“Director Michael Matthews and writer Sean Drummond announce themselves as serious breakout talents with this stunningly beautiful, utterly gripping South African genre hybrid. Despite some script quibbles, a game cast led by regal leading man Vuyo Dabula, brutal action shot with a jaw-dropping level of technical polish, and allegorical drama that feels extremely timely, makes Five Fingers for Marseilles unlike any western you’ve ever seen.”

Now, it’s walked away with the best movie at the 14th Africa Movie Academy Awards, held this year in Rwanda. That’s not all though. It also won the AMAA 2018 Award for Achievement in Production Design, while director Michael Matthews won the AMAA 2018 Award for the Best First Feature Film by a director. It also nabbed the AMAA 2018 Award for Achievement in Cinematography, and the Ousmane Sembene AMAA 2018 Award for Best Film in an African Language.

That’s a phenomenal achievement, for an excellent film. In case you still have no idea what on earth it’s about, here’s the synopsis:

“The residents of the colonial town of Marseilles are under the thumb of police oppression and only the young rebels known as the Five Fingers are willing to stand up to them. Their battle is just, until Tau kills two policemen and flees the scene. The remaining rebels disband while the banished Tau resorts to a life of crime.

Twenty years later, now known as feared outlaw The Lion of Marseilles, he is released from prison. He returns home, desiring only peace and to reconnect with those he left behind. The battle for South Africa’s freedom has been won, and former comrades-in-arms are in prominent positions as mayor, police chief, and pastor. But it quickly becomes clear to Tau that Marseilles is caught in the grip of a vicious new threat — and he must reconstitute the Five Fingers to fight frontier justice. Standing against former allies and new enemies, the re-formed Five Fingers saddle up and ride out, and put their lives at risk to save their beloved Marseilles.”

Last Updated: October 24, 2018


  1. Kervyn Cloete

    October 24, 2018 at 11:18

    Very, very well deserved! This is arguably the best looking local film I have ever seen. The direction and cinematography was just mind-blowing.


  2. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    October 24, 2018 at 11:24

    why is there an african academy award? why must it be separate from any other awards programme??


    • Geoffrey Tim

      October 24, 2018 at 12:53

      ..because its purpose is to celebrate films made and set in Africa – which are largely ignored by the rest of the world. What’s wrong with that?


      • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

        October 25, 2018 at 09:48

        I get that, but if it’s this excellent, it should be on the global stage of recognition, or the global stage should have more categories.


    • Kervyn Cloete

      October 24, 2018 at 13:32

      Most countries have their own internal awards programmes celebrating indigenous efforts. Not every film gets international recognition, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get their own local spotlight.


  3. Rick

    October 24, 2018 at 17:59

    Another “Evil White Man” identity politics movie. I’ll pass.


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