Film in Zimbabwe

Film is one of the most costly art forms. This means that it is dependent on funding, and sensitive to economic recession. Although able to draw on the traditions of narration in oral culture, it is a fairly new cultural form in Zimbabwe , which already has produced interesting feature films, often also involving the musical talents of the country:

Jit (1990), produced by Rory Kilalea and directed by Michael Raeburn, is a light story about the ceaseless efforts of a young man in the city to earn the bride price for the parents of the girl he has fallen in love with, despite the attempts by a spirit to thwart him and make him return to his village.

Media for Development Trust has produced some Zimbabwean feature films, which speak to social issues. Neria (1992) , directed by Godwin Maruru, and based on a story by Tsitsi Dangarembga, addressed the issue of women's rights against patriarchal custom, and every third Zimbabwean saw it, according to estimates.

More Time (1993), directed by Isaac Mabhikwa, is about a township girl facing the happiness of love and the danger of AIDS.

Everyone's Child (1996) was directed by Tsitsi Dangarembga, and is based on a story by the writer Shimmer Chinodya about four children, whose parents died of AIDS.

Flame (1996), directed by Ingrid Sinclair, was the first Zimbabwean film set in the liberation struggle. The main characters are two female friends, who are active fighters, fighting both the war, the dissolution of their dreams, and sexual abuse.

The latest feature film to come out of Zimbabwe was Yellow Card (2000) by John and Louise Riber, which focuses on male sexuality and responsibility with a football player as the lead role.

Waiting for better times and more resources for indigenous and independent film-making there is a young generation of film-makers, such as Rumbi Katedza, and other cinema enthusiasts working in the Zimbabwe International Film Festival Trust, with Farai 0pfunya as director. Their annual film festival includes the showing of the best short film, chosen from a great number of entries, and nursed into reality by their short film project producer, Nakai Matema.

There is also an annual Women's Film Festival, initiated by Tsitsi Dangarembga, who also continues her line as filmmaker (besides being a writer) by doing documentaries and short films.

Interview with

Dangarembga, Tsitsi

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