Five Fingers for Marseilles

Festival / Official Selection 2018 / Five Fingers for Marseilles


Five Fingers for Marseilles

DIRECTOR : Michael Matthews
COUNTRY : South Africa
YEAR : 2017
TIME : 120min

Nu Metro 6, 12 Oct @ 10.30pm | SK Nouveau 5, 14 Oct @ 10am


Apartheid South Africa: The community of Railway, attached to the remote town of Marseilles, are the victims of brutal police oppression and only the young ‘Five Fingers’ are willing to stand up to them. Their battle is heartfelt but innocent, until hot-headed Tau kills two policemen in an act of passion. He flees, leaving his brothers and friends behind, but his action has triggered a violent fight that will leave both Marseilles and the Five Fingers Changed.

Twenty years later, Tau is released from prison, now a feared and brutal outlaw, ‘The Lion of Marseilles’. But scarred and empty, he renounces violence and returns to Marseilles desiring only peace and to reconnect with those he left behind.

At first, Tau finds Marseilles a town seemingly at peace. The battle for freedom was won, and now the grown Five Fingers are in prominent positions – as mayor, police chief and pastor of the old church.

But when Tau reconnects with his childhood love, Lerato, now proprietress of the local tavern, and her fiery son, Sizwe, it becomes clear that rather than the haven he hoped for, Marseilles is caught in the grip of a vicious new threat and to his dismay, his old allies themselves may have allowed it in. Tau can keep his head down only so long. When he and his loved ones become direct targets, he is reluctantly compelled to fight again, once and for All.

‘Five Fingers for Marseilles’ fuses western influences, from classic to spaghetti and revisionist eras, into a contemporary South African drama played in local tongue by four generations of acclaimed South African stars, led by television icon, Vuyo Dabula.

Five Fingers for Marseilles


Directing technically complex productions under pressure, has earned Michael a reputation for executing ambitious projects. Michael has a strong focus on emotive, visual storytelling. His work has been nominated and won awards both locally and internationally.

Michael co-founded Be Phat Motel Film Company in 2007 with the aim to develop and produce progressive cinema, and has seen a number of projects into international development. In this period Michael has also made award winning commercials, short films and music videos, working with worldwide brands and artists.

Michael’s half hour film, Sweetheart (2011), screened at festivals in South Africa, Poland, Russia, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Singapore, Costa Rica and the USA. Sweetheart’s international interest led him to meetings with agents and studios including Fox, Warner Brothers and WME. In 2014 Michael directed the eight part web series, Ashbeclee. The comedy-drama is in the tone of HBO ‘Girls’, but set in Perth Australia. Focused on three female lead characters dealing with quarter life crises and first world problems, it gained over 190 000 episode views.

Michael is currently in development on a feature adaptation of Charlie Human’s acclaimed novel Apocalypse Now Now.