Ralphie is young and healthy and his girlfriend is pregnant. Yet things do not feel quite right. His job as an Uber driver is neither gratifying nor financially secure. His relationship with his body may also be built on shaky foundations. When he is inducted into a libertarian masculinity cult, the tensions that have been growing inside him surface. Ralphie begins to lose his grip on reality.
In his previous film, The Wound, South African filmmaker John Trengove explored how a male rite of passage unleashed repressed feelings with the same potential for danger as opening a pressure cooker. A similar force is at work inside the protagonist of Manodrome, in whom Trengove observes a disturbing phenomenon from an original angle. Ralphie is not the stereotype that springs to mind when thinking of groups formed around fervent misogyny such as the infamous “incels”, and his character helps us to deepen our understanding of what male fragility can entail. In spite of the dark implications of its premise, this film is not devoid of humour. However, the skilful way in which the tension builds and powerful performances from Jesse Eisenberg and Adrien Brody leave the viewer truly shaken.
by John Trengove
with Jesse Eisenberg, Adrien Brody, Odessa Young, Sallieu Sesay, Philip Ettinger, Ethan Suplee, Evan Joningkeit, Caleb Eberhardt, Gheorghe Murensan
United Kingdom / USA 2023 English 95’ World premiere


  • Jesse Eisenberg (Ralphie)
  • Adrien Brody (Dan)
  • Odessa Young (Sal)
  • Sallieu Sesay (Ahmet)
  • Philip Ettinger (Jason)
  • Ethan Suplee (Dad Leo)
  • Evan Joningkeit (Son Brad)
  • Caleb Eberhardt (Son Aaron)
  • Gheorghe Murensan (Sachiel)


Director John Trengove
Screenplay John Trengove
Cinematography Wyatt Garfield
Editing Julie Monroe, Matthew Swanepoel
Music Christopher Stracey
Art Director Carmen Navis
Producers Gina Gammell, Ben Giladi, Riley Keough, Ryan Zacarias

World sales

CAA Media Finance

Produced by

Felix Culpa

Liminal Content

John Trengove

Born in 1978, he lives in Johannesburg in South Africa. After studying at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York, he directed television, documentaries and commercials. His miniseries Hopeville won numerous awards at international festivals. He also works as a theatre director and his stage play 'The Epicene Butcher' won the Amsterdam Fringe Festival award for best international production. His short film iBhokhwe (The Goat) screened in the Berlinale's Generation section and at over 20 other festivals. The Wound is his feature film debut.


2000 I'll Take You by Force on the Living Room Rug; short film 2002 Long Distance Love; short film 2003 Leather Family; short film · Breakfast; short film 2004 Say Hi to Bangkok; short film 2010 Disco 3000; short film 2013 Muscle Jew 2014 The Goat; short film, IFB Generation · iBhokhwe (The Goat); short film 2016 The Wound 2023 Manodrome

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023