Zimbabwean filmmaker Saki Mafundikwa presents Shungu at PNCA

March 28, 2010

Filmmaker Saki Mafundikwa will screen his documentary film Shungu: The Resilience of a People on Sunday, April 11 at 4 pm in the PNCA Main Campus Building.

Shungu is a compelling narrative of the strategies ordinary people use to survive in Zimbabwe today. Lyrically photographed, the filmmaker takes us on a personal journey offering a rare, intimate insight as the country experiences political turmoil, economic meltdown and health care collapse. We are drawn into the lives of a 30-something metalsmith and opposition supporter running his small business while facing political violence, a middle-aged widow who is a staunch government supporter trying to run a farm she took over from a white farmer, a doctor working amid health care collapse while trying to maintain her middle-class lifestyle. Interwoven throughout is the tumultuous political power struggle and eventual reconciliation between President Robert Mugabe, and his nemesis opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The film gives voice to the hopes and challenges of ordinary people, revealing life under one of Africa’s last “strongmen,” as Zimbabwe undergoes profound change.

Shungu was an official selection at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and The Thessaloniki Film Festival.

About Saki Mafundikwa
Saki Mafundikwa is the founder and director of the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA), a design and new media training college in Harare. Mafundikwa was educated in the United States with a BA in Telecommunications and Fine Arts from Indiana University and an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University. He worked for a dozen years in New York City as a graphic designer, art director and design instructor before returning home to Zimbabwe in 1998 to found ZIVA. His book, Afrikan Alphabets: the Story of Writing in Africa was published in 2004. Not only historically important, it is also the first book on Afrikan typography.

Mafundikwa has been shooting documentary shorts in Zimbabwe, chronicling the vibrant arts and culture heritage over the past decade. His first documentary feature, Shungu: The Resilience of a People, had its world premiere at Independent Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam last November and was very well received. The film is an objective, in-depth look at the causes and effects of Zimbabwe’s political and economic decline through the voices of ordinary Zimbabweans.