five fingers for marseilles

Beyoncé’s latest album, Cowboy Carter, ventures into uncharted territory, drawing inspiration from the rich African diaspora’s influence on Americana. One key influence is the groundbreaking South African Neo-Western film Five Fingers for Marseilles.

Both Cowboy Carter and Five Fingers for Marseille boldly challenge traditional Western narratives, creating space for marginalized voices within the genre. The filmmakers behind Five Fingers expressed their honour at being recognized alongside cinematic giants and for the spotlight shone on South African cinema.

Cowboy Carter is an experimental sonic journey. Each song reimagines a classic Western film, with influences ranging from spaghetti westerns to Blaxploitation. Beyoncé weaves personal experiences, homages to Black history, and fictional characters into a cohesive exploration of the genre. The album, like Five Fingers, reclaims the stories of Black and African cowboys, shattering stereotypes and forging a new path for the genre.

Released in 2017, Five Fingers for Marseilles rewrites the Western rulebook, weaving a tale of resistance against a backdrop of cyclical violence. Shot in the unforgiving Eastern Cape mountains, the film stars a powerhouse South African cast and has garnered critical acclaim, including multiple festival awards.

Set in modern South Africa, the film rewrites Western tropes. It follows a group called the “Five Fingers” who once protected their rural town but are fractured by past events. A returning member must confront a new threat and the cycle of violence plaguing the community.