Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
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 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 New "Supertrailer" for 'Drumline: A New Beat' Watch New "Supertrailer" for 'Drumline: A New Beat' 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' Watch: Racism Insurance - Coverage for White Privilege (For Everything, But the N-Word) Watch: Racism Insurance - Coverage for White Privilege (For Everything, But the N-Word) New Daytime Talkshow 'The FAB' w/ Tyra Banks, Chrissy Teigen, Joe Zee Coming to ABC New Daytime Talkshow 'The FAB' w/ Tyra Banks, Chrissy Teigen, Joe Zee Coming to ABC Watch: Everything Else You've Wanted to Know About 'The Wire' - Cast Reunites for Hour-Long Chat Watch: Everything Else You've Wanted to Know About 'The Wire' - Cast Reunites for Hour-Long Chat Sundance Institute Announces New Artist Development Programs Coming to 8 US Cities Sundance Institute Announces New Artist Development Programs Coming to 8 US Cities TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down '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 Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film 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) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series 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...

Trailer: Uplifting Doc iThemba Explores Stigma of The Disabled in Zimbabwe ('12 Wisconsin Film Fest)

Shadow and Act By Vanessa Martinez | Shadow and Act April 9, 2012 at 5:01PM

The 72-minute Zimbabwean/American documentary iThemba (meaning "hope" in Ndebele), helmed by Elinor Burkett and Errol Webber, will make its stateside premiere at this year's Wisconsin Film Festival, which runs April 18-22.
0
ithemba

The 72-minute Zimbabwean/American documentary iThemba (meaning "hope" in Ndebele), helmed by Elinor Burkett and Errol Webber, will make its stateside premiere at this year's Wisconsin Film Festival, which runs April 18-22.

The doc, created by a Jamaican, American, and Zimbabwean team, humorously and poignantly explores the disability stigma in Zimbabwe's villages and cities through the members of the Liyana garageband, "an eight-piece musical group comprised of current and former students at the King George VI school for the disabled."

Here's the synopsis and more about the film below:

Imagine a country where more people die of AIDS, malnutrition and lack of medical care each week than are killed in Afghanistan, Iraq or Darfur. Where hospitals operate without doctors, urban neighborhoods suffer months without water, and unemployment tops 90 percent. Then imagine navigating that country from a wheelchair, without functioning hands, or with some other disability in a culture where the disabled are seen as cursed. You don’t have to imagine. iThemba takes you there in a rich, verite tapestry about the band Liyana, eight edgy young musicians who negotiate their country’s chaotic political waters, economic collapse and deep-seated prejudices with humor and grit.

iThemba is the tale of the most unlikely of garage bands: Liyana marks its rhythms and lays down its melodies with marimbas and traditional drums instead of electric guitars and basses. The lead singers never prance across the stage because they are unable to walk. Since their neighbors consider them cursed, their audiences are usually sparse.


But iThemba is not another demoralizing documentary about Africa, an overly familiar tale of woe. Rather, this film, rife with the unexpected, is a funny, poignant narrative about eight compelling young people who refuse to succumb to the stigma of disability or the collapse of their country.
Watch lead singer Prudence Mabhena, legless and palsied, grapple with memories of the grandmother who’d urged her parents to let her die. Meet 90-pound Marvelous Mbulo, the band’s self-styled bad boy and ladies’ man, who constantly plots how to keep his current flame without giving up his “options”. Travel the city with Energy Maburutse, who tries to live up to his name as he pounds his marimba. But he’s in constant pain since his frame stopped growing, but his organs did not.


And listen to the endless flow of satire and the amazing Afro-fusion melodies that make you forget about the musicians’ twisted limbs.
These unique young people guide iThemba’s viewers into Zimbabwean villages and cities, to rural bottle shops and urban marketplaces, inside the huts of traditional healers and the neighborhoods of the urban poor - into an Africa rarely seen by outsiders, a place where tradition is not necessarily gentle, where it threatens to trap the unfortunate and where a few are fighting back.
Shot during the 2008 Zimbabwean presidential election and the country’s economic meltdown, iThemba unfolds against the backdrop of political tensions and the daily struggle to find a bank that actually had cash, to buy food although store shelves were empty, and to navigate streets pocked with wheelchair-mangling potholes.

 

Watch the trailer and a few clips below.

iThemba Official Trailer from Loli & Rex on Vimeo.

iThemba [Film Clip] - Stories from Loli & Rex on Vimeo.

iThemba [Film Clip] - Recording from Loli & Rex on Vimeo.

This article is related to: Documentary, Trailer


Shadow & ActNewsletter