Thursday, 25 November 2010

Is This The Best We Can DO?

fisttap sirnige
If someone gave you the chance to a make a movie about young people in Zimbabwe and its Diaspora, what kind of movie would you produce, what story would you want to tell and to whom? How realistic would you want it to be? If I were a film maker tasked with making a a comedy based on a Nollywood/ African bling culture style film, I'd do my best to represent reality through fiction in the funniest, most creative and most humanistic way possible. There are some good Nollywood movies that I'd model my film on and I'd borrow some ideas from some of my favourite directors. But that is my overly ambitious film, not Joe Njagu's. Njagu's film is Lobola and this film offers its own expression of Zimbabwean life and this is a positive thing. A blockbuster type flick is a great change from the 'failed state' type narratives churned out by the documentary industry some of which are good (e.g Zimbabwe's Forgotten Children) and others just plain crap (e.g Mugabe and the White African). 
While this film has its pluses and I know I'm criticising a preview not a whole movie, but since the trailer is the main selling point of the movie I'm entitled to point out the things I find troubling and problematic like: characters shouting 'I'm going to Africaaaa!' or youngsters saying n!99@ to an elder - why? Because it's unrealistic and it is offensive, not for the more obvious reasons of using derogatory language, but it is offensive to the basic intelligence of Zimbabweans; am I really supposed to believe a Shona girl, no matter how urbanized she is - even moreso a girl from the township like this character, Christine - goes to her roora with her breasts out popping out of her dress? Am I meant to just nod in blind agreement that T-Bone has lived long enough in the States to have the street bravado/stupidity (delete as appropriate) to call his uncle 'n!99@' and the uncle overlooks this until the kid pushes it and calls him 'boy'? C'mon now, get real. We are not stupid. This is not how we behave.
These things take away from the quality of the story which looks like a good one. 

Lobola premiers  tonight in Harare at the 7 Arts Theatre, Avondale; Rainbow City Cinemas, R. Mugabe Rd; Easy Ticket, Fife Ave Shops at $5 and $25 for VIP.


Anonymous said...

Great review!

Anonymous said...

This looks like a bad movie, it uses all the exaggerated stereotypes of m'salalas. For sure we need to be telling better stories about ourselves. I heard there has been a mass advertising campaign in Zim, I wonder how many will watch this and be cool with it.