Song for Zimbabwe presents the extraordinary story of ordinary Zimbabwean women living Wales. These women, all Mothers, have found freedom and safety far away from the reign of terror of President Mugabe. This film is about the lives and times of a group of African Mothers who use music and dance to express their plight and experiences of cultural alienation. Their songs and dance routines are emotionally charged, inspiring, and sometimes haunting – combining accounts of their tragic loss, nostalgia, and their subsequent renewal. These Mothers have reinvented themselves in a strange land from where they hope for a better Zimbabwe. Are they using music and dance to keep the flame and desire for their homeland alive, to emotionally reconnect, and to maintain stability to their disrupted worlds? Are these Mothers modern African griots, calling for understanding beyond the shadows of a cruel political system that forced them into exile?
Emotion Behind the Project
My personal experiences of leaving my homeland to a different country with unfamiliar culture, climate and environmental circumstances always draw my attention to people from other African countries who are also disconnected from familiar smells, colours, daily textures and rhythms of their homeland. Song for Zimbabwe highlights aspects of Diaspora memory – the nostalgic experiences of separation, longing, cultural heritage and resistance. The film provides rare insights into African women’s experiences and opportunities, highlighting some of the values that we all cherish, no matter where we live – the freedom to have choice.
Song for Zimbabwe explores visions of migration and exile from a woman-centred perspective, showing women renegotiating their identity positions. We will discover what role music plays in intensifying a sense of displacement, but also providing feelings of liberation from fear and insecurity. These women are positively searching for new ways of living. This is a universal human-interest story.
Principal medium: Single screen film for TV/cinema distribution
Location(s) of production: Wales, UK.
Production budget indication: over £10,000