• Zimbabwe
Genre : Drama
Type : Fiction
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2008
Format : Feature
Running time : 82 (in minutes)

Painful and topical drama about illegal labour migration from Zimbabwe to South Africa. Seen through the eyes of a 19-year-old orphan girl, Roodt shows that border inhabitants don't have much choice.

A young 19-year-old country girl, named Zimbabwe by her patriotic father, is orphaned. Starving and with few choices, she leaves her village to find a distant aunt. In the remote border town of Beitbridge, she crosses the border into South Africa, in search of a new life at any cost. Illegally in South Africa, Zimbabwe finds work as a maid but is repeatedly abused by her employer. She is forced to commit a violent act to protect herself and escapes by handing herself over to the authorities. She is deported to Zimbabwe, only to find that her brother has crossed the border to look for her.

Cast: Kudzai Chimbaira, Farai Veremu, Natasha Gandi, Mildred Chipuriro, Phinneus Ncube, Folen Murapa

Amidst failed harvests and the threat of AIDS, Zimbabweans look for work, preferably in South Africa. But their illegal status and xenophobic whites do not make life any easier in the neighbouring state.
'Over 40,000 Zimbabweans cross the border into South Africa every month'. Darrell James Roodt depicts in Zimbabwe the consequences of this illegal labour migration. On both sides of the border is, Zimbabweans live in terrible conditions in and outside what was once a powerful African nation. The 19-year-old Zimbabwe (given that name by her patriotic parents) loses her parents to AIDS. The village chief sends Zimbabwe and her brother Dumi away: the orphans are extra mouths that cannot be fed. A long journey by foot through a world filled with beautiful panoramas but painful lives brings the children to their cold aunt in the border town of Beitbridge. In exchange for scrubbing and chopping wood, Zimbabwe and Dumi are allowed to stay in a shed behind their aunt's house. A job in richer South Africa looks like being a better perspective and Zimbabwe finds herself in a large house with a white couple. But she doesn't have anything to say about her new life, just like so many others. Tens of thousands of illegal migrant workers cannot return and fear their dark future. Zimbabwe has to make a choice to survive.
The Hubert Bals Fund supports this South African world première.

South Africa / Zimbabwe, 2008
Director: Darrell James Roodt
Producer: Jeremy Nathan, Nicola Simmonds
Production company: DV8 Films, International Organisation for Migration (IMO)
Sales: DV8 Films
Distributor: NL Hubert Bals Fund
Print source: DV8 Films
Scenario: Darrell James Roodt, based on a story by Nicola Simmonds

Cast: Kudzai Chimbaira, Farai Veremu, Natasha Gandi, Mildred Chipuriro, Phinneus Ncube, Folen Murapa
Photography: Darrell James Roodt
Editor: Kosta Kalarytis
Sound: Warrick Sony
Music: Kalahari Surfers
Length: 1h22


2008 | 32th Cairo International Film Festival | CAIRO, Egypt | 18>28 november 08 | www.cairofilmfest.org
* Selection [African Films]
* Selection [International competition for Digital Feature Films]

2008 | 22èmes JCC - Journées Cinématographique de Carthage | TUNISI, Tunisie | du 25 octobre au 1er novembre 2008 | www.jccarthage.org
* Best actress: Kudzai Chimbaira

2008 | IFFR 2008 - 37th International Film Festival Rotterdam | ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands | www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com |
> Selection - Time & Tide
World premiere


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  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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