Pistol-packing acclaimed South African western Five Fingers for Marseilles, a thrilling tale that takes its place alongside classics such as Once Upon a Time in the West and contemporaries like The Proposition and No Country for Old Men, stares down the barrel of a national theatrical release Friday, September 7, 2018.

Imagine Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Yul Brynner in The Magnificent Seven; or John Wayne in The Searchers. Now journey from the sweeping plains of America’s Old West to the unforgiving hinterlands of South Africa. Then update the archetypal gunfighter to steely black cowboys who are deft horsemen and lethal marksmen. The result is the boldly original and modern take on the Western genre, Five Fingers for Marseilles, filmed on location in the North-Eastern Cape village of Lady Grey, South Africa. The movie marks the feature directorial debut of Michael Matthews and the feature screenwriting debut of Sean Drummond.

Matthews and Drummond honor the traditional Western genre — and its Spaghetti and revisionist variations — while exporting the trappings into a fresh contemporary story set against the backdrop of post-Apartheid South Africa. Five Fingers for Marseilles takes place in a small town “governed” by dubious local officials, living in fear of a lawless mob; when an exiled outlaw returns home in search of solace and redemption, brotherhood and loyalty are fused with vengeance.

Combining the socio-political threads found in many a great Western; stunning visuals captured in panoramic widescreen lensing; and a cast of talented South African actors giving powerful, nuanced performances, Matthews and Drummond deliver.

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