Scenes from new local film ‘Escape’ cause a stir

By Tafadzwa Zimoyo

New local film “Escape”, directed by Joe Njagu and Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska, has caused a stir among movie fanatics following its trailer which shows kissing and sexually-suggestive scenes.

One of the controversial scenes in “Escape” featuring Selmour Mtukudzi
One of the controversial scenes in “Escape” featuring Selmour Mtukudzi

The 90-minute film, which stars Munya Chidzonga, Jose Marques, Maria Wilson, Selmor Mtukudzi, Nothando Nobengula and Eddie Sandifolo among others, premières on October 5 at Ster Kinekor Sam Levy.

It was produced by Njagu, Eric Witzgall, Brendon Sole, Carolyn Sole and Stewart Corners.

Some movie fanatics condoned parts of the trailer stating that it is against our tradition to have intimate scenes in films while others supported the directors saying the new dimension reflects that the industry is growing.

In an interview, director Joe Njagu said there is nothing wrong with the scenes because it is simple acting.

“This is where we go wrong because we don’t think outside the box. There was no real sex on the camera but its implied sex.

“Even in Hollywood movie actors have such scenes and there is nothing wrong. They are called stimulated scenes.

“This will be one of the first Zimbabwean films with such scenes, and the outcry is a surprise considering how we consume similar Western films.

“Here people say it’s a taboo when people kiss.

“We hope to demystify that notion in local production,” he said.

He said the film will be released on DVD and in cinemas in Zimbabwe with a round on major festivals across the world.

Njagu said he was inspired by the urge to keep pushing the bar high for local products.

“We need to move with times to match up with international standards.

“For how long will we keep holding on to the past? Zimbabwe is blessed with talented actors, film producers and directors.

“Apart from resources which are lacking, why not embrace their ideas and give them opportunity not only to shine but to prove their magic,” he said.

“Escape” is a film about a man of mixed race, played by Jose Marques, who sets on a journey to find his father when his mother is seriously ill. He encounters mysterious situations on his journey.

The script was written by Dr Aggnieszka Piotrowska under Thinking Films in association with Media Matrix. The film was shot in Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom. The Herald