White Wedding on Dark Continent

White Wedding is Coral Gables Art Cinema’s second film in a row with an African theme. (White Material — that sure is a lot of white — opened earlier this month). This time, the flavor is farcical as South African groom-to-be Elvis (Kenneth Nkosi) and his best man Tumi (Rapulana Seiphemo) engage in a familiar get-me-to-the-church-on-time-style trek, where everything that can go wrong does. While they trip along from Johannesburg to Durban, to the wedding site in Capetown, beautiful fiancée Ayanda (Zandile Msutwana) waits anxiously. Her confidence in her betrothed wanes with every dilatory misadventure he imparts from the trail. What sets the story apart from other slapstick rom-coms, however, is its setting in a tense, postapartheid climate. In addition to laughs, the audience gleans an idea of what it’s like to live in modern-day South Africa. Such cultural insight may have been a factor in the decision to enter the film in the foreign language film category of the the 82nd Academy Awards. While it wasn’t nominated, it’s still a contender in the world cinema scene. White Wedding opens Friday and runs through January 20.
Fri., Jan. 14, 7 p.m., 2011
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Camille Lamb Guzman is a journalist who writes on wellness, travel, and culture. She is also finishing a book of creative nonfiction.