Mbira Music - Spirit of the People

MBIRA MUSIC SPIRIT OF THE PEOPLE (1990) Documentary 52 minutes, Directed by Simon Bright. Produced by Kristiina Tuura and Ingrid Sinclair. TV sales to YLE TV Finland, Ch 4 TV UK, Canal Plus and FR3 France, Namibia Broadcasting Company; Zimbabwe TV; RTE Belgium; SBSAustralia; Visions TV Canada., Mnet Africa.   A Zimmedia/Proppu 2000 Co-production.

With the overthrow of Apartheid and the onset of peace in the region, Zimmedia turned its attention to the cultural richness of Zimbabwe. Mbira Music celebrates the power of Zimbabwean music, opening an unlikely door to the country’s recent history. Music carries the spirit of Zimbabwean people. From traditional rituals of music and dance, through the choruses of the Liberation War, to the songs of popular musicians and farmer choirs. Music is played at home and at the nightclub, in town and in the bush. There is a song to continue a war, another to stop it, and a third to plant a field of maize. The film features a wide range of artists from Zimbabwean superstars Oliver Mtukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo to a boy band playing on tin cans in the bush. 

Mozambican cinematographer Joao Costa gives the film its sumptuous look and the subject – music – confers its distinctive southern African identity. Southern African music and composers in Zimmedia’s work has always foregrounded the distinctive local musical tradition that has transnational appeal and this has become a hallmark of our style.

With Mbira Music we extended both the range of our transnational co-production to include Finland and the distribution of our films to new TV stations in Africa and Internationally.