THE 120-minute-long film, which chronicles the epic 1966 Chinhoyi Battle — Chinhoyi 7 — finally hit the big screen, when it premiered on Friday night, where it attracted 600 film lovers, who filled up all the cinemas at Ster Kinekor (SK) Borrowdale in Harare.
BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
Cinema 5 Prestige housed 65 VVIPs including Defence ministry secretary, Martin Rushwaya and Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General, Philip Valerio Sibanda.
Chinhoyi 7 co-producer Tawanda Sarireni was impressed by the attendance.
“I was very impressed by the attendance considering that it was affected by postponement. The movie (premiere) has been highly attended and it’s actually the best attendance. That’s a record,” he said.
“You know, in Zimbabwe, we don’t have a movie culture, but I saw some people from different circles. We have not done enough to create movies that resonate with us. The storyline of this movie resonates, with the people.”
The movie — which had been initially scheduled to be screened in March — had to be postponed on several occasions amid reports that scenes featuring former President Robert Mugabe had to be reworked.
Filmmaker, Shem Zemura hailed the film’s director, Moses Matanda, for supporting the film industry.
“It’s a huge achievement. We are always crying for government support. They got it. They got Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s advertising slots and SK to run the movie. SK closed the Borrowdale cinema just for Chinhoyi 7. Even Black Panther didn’t use more than one cinema,” he said.
Another filmmaker, Albert Charichafa, however, said there was need for the government to support all films and not just those on the liberation struggle.
Film producer and scriptwriter, Beauty Tsuro said there was need to use Chinhoyi 7 as a template to work with when pushing for government’s support.
“I think we need to start pushing them using Chinhoyi 7, as our template because they showed us that it can be done,” she said.
Rushwaya said the film was unique in that it was told by locals.
“The film is unique in that it is a Zimbabwean liberation story being told from a Zimbabwean perspective. It should surely go a long way in enhancing our people’s understanding of their liberation history,” he said.