Escape (Zimbabwe 2016) - shot and set in Harare, Zimbabwe - is a very unusual film, because it not only features intercultural encounters, but also dramatizes them in the form of an intercultural mix of cinematic genres. Form and content complement each other: the result is a successful collaborative creation effort that offers a very different perspective on such subjects as post-colonialism, memory and history, race and gender. Escape wants to appeal to both an art house public with its sophisticated structure, and to a wider audience with its suspenseful story and high entertainment values.
Its suggestive subtitle "film noir fairytale" indicates the challenge at stake: to propose a modern mythological narrative that combines African and Western archetypes, such as a naive hero, who is a stranger in town, and a femme fatale, mysterious and seductive. It also includes witches, a princess, enigmatic prophecies and a deathbed confession.
The film follows Charles, a man of mixed race in his twenties, who discovers that his mother lied about the true identity of his father. On her deathbed, she exhorts him to go to Zimbabwe and find his father. What awaits him are very different discoveries than what he expected.
Particularly strong are the women in Escape. Seven different female characters - five of them African - with distinctive personalities and agency, offer a wide range of "women in relation to power and masculinity".
Fairy tales - like myths - are powerful tools for reconciling a (divided) community with itself. Is there anything more appropriate for Zimbabwe today than a father-son fairy tale binding together a nation, whose paternal figure will sooner or later have to yield power? Especially when it is not clear whether the daughters or sons will be charged with inheriting what he has created.
Given the rather negative representation of Zimbabwe in the Western media, Escape strikes the balance. The film does not disguise things, but it also shows a beautiful country, and a warm and attractive, spiritual and mysterious, generous and loyal people.Escape is a Thinking Films production in association with Media Matrix (MMX).
Main Credits :
Directors : Agnieszka Piotrowska and Joe Njagu
Screenplay : Agnieszka Piotrowska
Script Supervisor : Angeline Dimingo
Producer : Agnieszka Piotrowska
Co - Producers : Stewart Cornes, Joe Njagu, Carolyn Sole, Brendon Sole,Eric Witzgall
Production Assistant : Tiffany Chiedza Nhete
Director of Photography : Joe Njagu
Assistant camera : Philip Marumha
Gaffer : Farai Chimombe
Sound Recordist: Kuda Sombi
Dubbing Mixer : Brendon Sole
Film Editor : Anna Dobrowodzka
Production Designer : Josh Changa
Assistant Designer :George Tomy
Costume Designer : Alice Knuth
Music: Selmor Mtkudzi Lovedale Discord, Mafriq, Guy Michelmore, Amanda Badze, Thinkspace,
Poster Design: Anna Dobrowodzka
Thinking films logo: Katarzyna Krajewska Turczyn
Cast : Jose Marques, Nothando Nobengula, Selmor Mtukudzi (, Eddie Sandifolo, Daniel Tapera, Stewart Sakaromba,Eden Athitakis, Munya Chidzonga, Charmaine Mujeri, Maria Wilson, Charles Njagu, Jessica Kate Taylor, Farai Chigudu, Eunice Ratidzo Tava,Joe Machingura, Cynthia Njagu