Elelwani Movie Poster

Elelwani feels like she's setting out on the holiday of her life. She just completed her studies and is in love with Vele, who is sitting next to her. They drive into Elelwani's village, intending to tell her parents of their plans to marry.

They are greeted with a dramatic dance in honor of the village's first woman to graduate; at least that's what Elelwani thinks. Elelwani's parents reveal that she's been promised to the tribal king, the dance being part of the celebration. The young woman initially rebels but finally consents.

The film is a cinematic initiation into the culture of the Venda: an ethnographic thriller with beautiful images and a disturbing plot. Ntshavheni Wa Luruli, himself a Venda, offers insight into an exotic culture without exoticizing it, all a result of his refusal to explain its secrets.

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