‘The Letter’: Reliving workers’ heartache

Every country has a history. A history embedded with amazing stories that can change perspectives. But, even if standpoints remain unchanged, such stories leave those who get exposed to them with some knowledge on how things unfold in other sections of the hemisphere.

Sadly, Zimbabwean creatives, particularly filmmakers, have been doing the nation a disservice as they have not been telling home-brewed stories consistently.

This has caused many to think that the crème de la crème of making intriguing films based on issues only existed in the 1990s when films such as “Flame” and “Jit”, among others, were produced.

But, award-winning filmmakers Joe Njagu and Daves Guzha are determined to change the narrative by telling local stories through film.

The two recently collaborated on a masterpiece titled “The Letter”.
The feature film, based on the unfortunate events of 2015 when 20 000 workers were laid off without benefits following a Supreme Court ruling, evokes emotion. Those at the receiving end of this tragedy identify with the work, while the everyday viewer gets proper context free of exaggeration. Njagu and Guzha also give the viewer a perspective many overlooked.

The psychological strain on top management occasioned by the inescapable imperative to select candidates for dismissal and then firing them.

More so the unfortunate reality of the same boss getting fired shortly after having played the “devil’s advocate”.
The production also stands out on account of its power of collaboration.

Instead of going it alone, the two filmmakers incorporated MMX Productions and Zimpapers Television Network.
Prominent radio presenter Patience Musa availed her home for some scenes while award-wining musician Cindy came through and laid her sweet vocals on one of the film’s soundtracks.

Good cast selection is another plus for “The Letter”.
No shortcuts. No nepotism, either.
These folks made a casting call and got the best people for the job.

Stars such as Sarah Mpofu Sibanda, Emmanuel Mbirimi and Admire Kuzhangaira feature; well-supported by budding talents Tinaye Wayne and Boniface Chimedza.

To spice things up, the film incorporates celebrated Zambian actor Henry BJ Phiri who also featured in multi-award-winning movie “I Am Not a Witch”.

From March 16, 2019, The Saturday Herald will publish a new and exciting film/television column with special focus on Zimpapers Television Network. The column will give insights into some of ZTN’s productions and also feature film reviews. A must read for the avid television viewer!

Source : The Herald

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