BY SHARON SIBINDI
BULAWAYO-BASED playwright, director and producer John Mabuyane yesterday said his latest film, War Cry, was inspired by true events which happened in Bulawayo and the “war cry” of South African women currently protesting against femicide.
War Cry, shot in Burnside and set for release later this month, is about a 17-year-old Zimbabwean girl who goes missing for the three months after a COVID-19-inspired lockdown.
A war cry of South African women protesting against femicide gives the missing girl’s mother uncertainty of hope and the situation gets everyone on their knees.
“I am a feminist writer, therefore, I am concerned about how cases of domestic violence have risen during this lockdown. After seeing a mob of South African women in the news crying, mothers breaking down as they protest against femicide and domestic violence, it hit close to home,” he said.
“Inspired by this movement and also Bathabile Dlamini’s case study on domestic violence during lockdown I decided to enlighten Zimbabweans and Africans in general and call for a cause of consent through film as I address femicide and domestic violence through a true Bulawayo story that happened years back, but I twisted it here and there,” Mabuyane said.
Mabuyane, who is also the producer and writer of Scars/Amanxeba said War Cry provided victims of abuse, perpetrators and the community an opportunity for introspection.
“It also teaches women to know their loved one. Always look out for the signs. Abusers give us signs all the time and we turn a blind eye. Finally, break the silence before it’s too late,” he said.
“The production lifespan is 2020 during lockdown because there is a war cry of women against femicide and domestic violence and the number of cases are rising, therefore, I jumped into the movement to help enlighten the world by bringing awareness.”
The film was shot by Drop Out Motion Picture, co-produced by Mr Zimbabwe brand ambassador Ben Chest and Von Chase. It features National Arts Merit Awards winner Charmaine Mudau, Monde Black (Face of Bulawayo 2019) and Pink and Purple host, Natasha Dlamini.