Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Chadwick Boseman Inks 5-Picture Deal w/ Marvel + Studio Chief Talks 'Black Panther' Director Plans Chadwick Boseman Inks 5-Picture Deal w/ Marvel + Studio Chief Talks 'Black Panther' Director Plans Review: 'Drumline: A New Beat' - The Panthers Didn't Need an Encore Review: 'Drumline: A New Beat' - The Panthers Didn't Need an Encore It's Official: Chadwick Boseman Will Be Black Panther + Marvel Sets Release Date for Movie It's Official: Chadwick Boseman Will Be Black Panther + Marvel Sets Release Date for Movie Premiering Tonight: Original Movie 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to 2002 Film). Will You Be Watching? Premiering Tonight: Original Movie 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to 2002 Film). Will You Be Watching? Interview: Nate Parker Talks "Beyond The Lights," Nat Turner Biopic, and Integrity in Hollywood Interview: Nate Parker Talks "Beyond The Lights," Nat Turner Biopic, and Integrity in Hollywood Kevin Hart’s Forgotten Sit-Com ‘The Big House’ Coming to DVD Kevin Hart’s Forgotten Sit-Com ‘The Big House’ Coming to DVD Watch Trailer for Spike Lee-Directed Documentary on Phil Jackson's Triangle Offense (Debuts Tonight) Watch Trailer for Spike Lee-Directed Documentary on Phil Jackson's Triangle Offense (Debuts Tonight) First Look at Common and Tessa Thompson as Civil Rights Activists in 'Selma' First Look at Common and Tessa Thompson as Civil Rights Activists in 'Selma' Exclusive: Award-Winning Playwright Katori Hall to Make Feature Film Directorial Debut w/ 'Hurt Village' Adaptation Exclusive: Award-Winning Playwright Katori Hall to Make Feature Film Directorial Debut w/ 'Hurt Village' Adaptation Interview: Gugu Mbatha-Raw Tells S&A About Becoming a Pop Star in 'Beyond The Lights' Interview: Gugu Mbatha-Raw Tells S&A About Becoming a Pop Star in 'Beyond The Lights' This Sunday, Oct 26, the Cast of 'A Different World' Reunites in Sit-Down w/ Oprah (Watch Clips) This Sunday, Oct 26, the Cast of 'A Different World' Reunites in Sit-Down w/ Oprah (Watch Clips) Does the 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Trailer Tease a Black Panther Introduction? Does the 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Trailer Tease a Black Panther Introduction? Watch Now: Baseball Phenom Mo'ne Davis Inspires in Spike Lee Doc 'I Throw Like A Girl' Watch Now: Baseball Phenom Mo'ne Davis Inspires in Spike Lee Doc 'I Throw Like A Girl' Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) 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