Jonathan Mbiriyamveka Entertainment Reporter
There has been high demand for “Camarada Presidente”, a film by Mosco Kamwendo since its premiere at the just ended Zimbabwe International Film Festival. The film which was one of the highlights at the festival whose theme was “Universal Africa”, was screened before an appreciative audience including Vice President Joice Mujuru and Samora Moises Machel’s widow, Graca who watched it for the first time.
Kamwendo, who graced this year’s 16th edition of ZIFF, confirmed the high demand for his film but said the DVD will be available beginning next year.
“The film has been shown in other parts of the world but we have not yet released it on DVD. So far, it has been showing at institutions of higher learning and other forums. Hopefully, beginning next year it will be available,” he said.
Asked if the unavailability of the film had to do with rampant piracy, Kamwendo said they had a niche market for the film.
“In a way we are trying to curb piracy but what we are doing is that we have had overwhelming response for the film. So at the moment we are still dealing with academic institutions who at least pay more than the sale of DVDs.
“It is true many people are interested in the film but what surprises me is that when I was filming it there was no one who was interested,” he said.
The Herald Entertainment was last week inundated with calls from film lovers who wanted to grab a copy of the film.
“Camarada Presidente” is quite a moving film that was done over a period of seven years.
It is based on the real life controversy surrounding the death of Samora Moises Machel, a village boy who rises to become a daring guerilla strategist and liberator. But what makes it so poignant is that Machel is not depicted as an unrealistic hero but a real man with love interests and political rivals.
There were laugh-out-loud moments during no-holds-barred interviews with the likes of Alfonso Dlakama, the leader of Renamo and Machel’s former girlfriend – Irene Buke.
Although they both claimed to represent the people, Dlakama’s ideology, views and modus operandi were different from those of Machel’s, however, which raises interesting debating points for the thinking audience.
Irene Buke, who knew Machel from a relationship perspective, pours her heart out but one thing she clearly pointed out was that he was a principled man.
Then there were other intriguing details of Machel’s life from his widow Graca Machel. Though controversial at times, it was interesting to note how and where they met.
Predictably the film ends in heartrending tragedy with Machel’s death after a plane crash. Even if you never loved Samora Machel, an icon to rival the likes of Che Guevara and you know that his tragic death is inevitable, when the moment comes you cannot help wishing that the story could have an impossible magical happy ending.