Movie meetings continue


Everyone has heard of Hollywood, perhaps of Bollywood, some of Nollywood but almost none of Swahiliwood or “Bongo” movies, the cinema that is made in Tanzania.

The young Tanzanian director Gudrun Mwanyika presented in Sofia, Kiumeni, his last effort as a director, thanks to the Open Space Foundation, Chamwino Arts Center and SOHO space, which were so kind to be our hosts for this movie event.

The film revolves around the affairs of a young couple, Faith and Gue: he is a wealthy citizen of uptown areas while she comes from a family in the slums of the Tanzanian capital. Everything is resolved when Gue has to go to visit her family, not being accustomed to the impact of poverty and the “direct” ways of family members, he will find himself involved in incredible adventures among thefts, exchanges and incarcerations. The director, through a good script, handles to turn these events into a bittersweet comedy making even those that are tragic realities something to think about with a smile. The film, despite the reduced means, a troupe composed of a handful of people, manages to keep a solid narrative structure perhaps more towards the middle of the film and until the end, the beginning lacks of slowness on the narrative level.

The lack of technical means is sometimes an incentive to find viable narrative alternatives and sometimes a flaw but in this case it is to be admired for example the work on audio recording, an element that is always very neglected in film productions (even those with a lot of budget behind),

The prevailing theme that emerges is that of cultural and ethnic diversity seen through the eyes of a love story, of a diversity that also treats the color of the skin since Gue is of Arab origin and this makes us also reflect on the issues related to overexposed world debates in vogue today and the director makes of it an effective sub-track theme.

African cinema, although in numbers say that the production of Nigerian cinema has exceeded that of American cinema, for example, remains confined to the local market and apart from film masters from the past like Ousmane Sembène, few manage to cross the African borders and introduce themselves in the world and if it happens they do it in thematic festivals or on personal invitations to presentations, as happened here in Sofia. But today it seems to be the only way for African cinema to present itself to the world, despite the boundless synergies that the continent can offer, no more foreign cinema produced in Africa, but African cinema produced by local artists who export their vision of things today. This would be desirable and I would say necessary to have also a vision of what happens in a continent that we Europeans still see as too distant to be able to fully appreciate it.

The export of films is also an economic incentive to a more professional production but this happens only through synergies with co-productions and with the provision of new resources because today, more than ever, art is the product that is exported more easily too through unofficial channels and art, and cinema as well, are more powerful in those places where social problems are little known in the world and the knowledge that art produces is the best weapon to break down the wall of prejudice that today more than ever is transforming the west in a gigantic cultural wall.

One again we send our big ‘’Thank you’’ and appreciation to SOHO Sofia, for hosting this event and we look forward to the future, with ideas and hopes for many productive collaborations!

The event is a part of our training “The art of communication” under the project “From Idea to Reality & Exsicution – F.I.R.E.” with support of European program “Erasmus+”, Key Action 2: Capacity building in the field of youth,

and with the hospitality of Soho Sofia