Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiegogo Video: 'Dear White People' Breaks Domestic Box Office Record for a Crowdfunded Film Indiegogo Video: 'Dear White People' Breaks Domestic Box Office Record for a Crowdfunded Film These Films & TV Series Are Leaving Netflix's Streaming Library at the End of This Month (January) These Films & TV Series Are Leaving Netflix's Streaming Library at the End of This Month (January) Say Hello to the Cast of the All-New, All-Female 'Ghostsbusters' movie Say Hello to the Cast of the All-New, All-Female 'Ghostsbusters' movie Review: Nuance-Deprived "Race" Movie 'Black or White' is Actually About White Frustration (Opens Friday) Review: Nuance-Deprived "Race" Movie 'Black or White' is Actually About White Frustration (Opens Friday) Trailer: Musical Take on the Gospel According to John the Apostle w/ a Black Cast (Harry Lennix, Chaka Khan, Mali Music, More) Trailer: Musical Take on the Gospel According to John the Apostle w/ a Black Cast (Harry Lennix, Chaka Khan, Mali Music, More) ABC Picks Up New Pilot From Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland Titled 'The Catch' ABC Picks Up New Pilot From Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland Titled 'The Catch' First 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Trailer Surfaces! Watch It Now! First 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Trailer Surfaces! Watch It Now! Review: 'Girlhood's' Strength Lies in Its Naturalistic Depiction of Young Female Friendship (Opens Friday) Review: 'Girlhood's' Strength Lies in Its Naturalistic Depiction of Young Female Friendship (Opens Friday) Ava DuVernay & David Oyelowo Make It a Trifecta as They Re-Team for Katrina-Set Love Story/Murder Mystery Ava DuVernay & David Oyelowo Make It a Trifecta as They Re-Team for Katrina-Set Love Story/Murder Mystery Review: Lifetime's 'With This Ring' - So What Did You Think of It? Review: Lifetime's 'With This Ring' - So What Did You Think of It? Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th) Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th) Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record Alexandra Shipp Has been Cast as Storm in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Alexandra Shipp Has been Cast as Storm in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

TIFF 2013 - 'Noye’s Fludde' (South African Short Film Adaptation Of Operatic 'Noah's Ark' Story)

Shadow and Act By Zeba Blay | Shadow and Act September 15, 2013 at 12:17PM

Part of the Contemporary World Cinema slate at TIFF this year, director Mark Dornford-May’s Noye’s Fludde is a fascinating record of the exciting performance and dramatic art going on today. Based on English composer Benjamin Britton’s 1957 operatic retelling of the classic flood story from the bible, Dunford-May and the Cape Town theatre company Isango Ensemble create a story that’s cinematically compelling, but also imbued with all the energy and immediacy of live performance. This version of the classic biblical tale is set in present-day South Africa, though there is still a timelessness to the costuming and art direction that could place the action at any time. Here, Noah is now Noye (played by the talented and expressive Pauline Malefane), the strong-minded matriarch of a large family including her daughters, sons, and their spouses. After she is prevailed upon by God himself to build an ark for a coming flood destined to wipe out humanity, she and her family work together to complete the astronomical task before it’s too late.
1
Noye’s Fludde
Noye’s Fludde

Part of the Contemporary World Cinema slate at TIFF this year, director Mark Dornford-May’s Noye’s Fludde is a fascinating record of the exciting performance and dramatic art going on today. 


Based on English composer Benjamin Britton’s 1957 operatic retelling of the classic flood story from the bible, Dunford-May and the Cape Town theatre company Isango Ensemble create a story that’s cinematically compelling, but also imbued with all the energy and immediacy of live performance.
 

This version of the classic biblical tale is set in present-day South Africa, though there is still a timelessness to the costuming and art direction that could place the action at any time. Here, Noah is now Noye (played by the talented and expressive Pauline Malefane), the strong-minded matriarch of a large family including her daughters, sons, and their spouses. After she is prevailed upon by God himself to build an ark for a coming flood destined to wipe out humanity, she and her family work together to complete the astronomical task before it’s too late.

It’s obviously a very recognizable plot, but what’s not so recognizable and rather refreshing is the way in which the story is presented. It was important for Dornford-May that the opera be performed entirely in the Xhosa language, by a completely black South African cast, using only traditional African instruments for the score. The result, taking a story that could be thought of as “Western” (Christianity was, after all, brought to Africa, in conjunction with some other things), but putting a distinctly African spin on it, is as entertaining as it is captivating.

Noye’s Fludde is a charming short with a talented and clearly very passionate company of players (they will be touring Asia and parts of America later this year). But more than that, it’s a testament to the fact that African performers have a lot more to offer than they’re often given credit for, and even more importantly, that African languages have as much power in conveying stories as English or French. Therein lies the beauty of the story - after a while the subtitles blend into the background, the music and the beauty of the Xhosa language comes to the fore, and while the viewer may not understand the words themselves, the feeling behind them is certainly not lost in translation.


Zeba Blay is a Ghanaian-born film and culture writer based in New York. She is a contributor to Huffington Post, Africa Style Daily, and Slant Magazine. She co-hosts the weekly podcast Two Brown Girls, and runs a personal movie blog, Film Memory. Follow her on Twitter @zblay.

This article is related to: Pauline Malefane


Shadow & ActNewsletter