n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - The cinema of Willie Esterhuizen : the quest for sex and hegemonic masculinity

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1020-1491



In this article I critically discuss how Willie Esterhuizen's films explicitly present an affirmative heteronormative hegemonic masculinity despite numerous queer, destabilising possibilities that threaten such dominant masculinity. I read Esterhuizen's films in terms of their consistent safe-making of homoerotic possibilities. To show how hegemonic heteronormative masculinity features across Esterhuizen's film oeuvre, his comedies (1994), (2007), (2008) and (2010) will be investigated in this regard. In this investigation, I will discuss how Esterhuizen's films:

  1. present a narrative foregrounding a quest for sexual intercourse as an integral part of post-apartheid white masculinity;
  2. utilise notions of anality (as mostly based in farting and verbal references to defecation) in relation to masculinity;
  3. point to a masculinity of (bodily) control;
  4. present various moments of homosociality and even homoeroticism in the relationships between male characters that threaten heteronormative masculinity but are, in the end, consistently trumped by hegemonic masculinity.

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