n Latin American Report - The language of censorship and the Zimbabwean short film genre

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-6060



The genre of the short film is not deficient as most Zimbabwean critics tend to think. The short film is complete in its shortness. Its complexity is that it can simultanously resist forms of politically motivated forms of censorship as well as unwittingly restrict, constrict or even prohibit lengthy exploration of alternative narratives in life. In this article, I explore this paradoxical nature of two Zimbabwean short films paying attention to (1) fragmented nature of short film, (2) economics of production of the short film, (3) language[s] of re/presentation in the short film, (4) and critical views of audiences of the short film. To uncover the buried narratives of censorship or prohibition in the short film genre, the films (2007), and (2008) are analysed. It is argued that the short film is a relatively new genre in Zimbabwe. It is emerging from the socio-political and economic crises of the 1990s. This context of production and circulation has, in many ways, led the Zimbabwean short film to evolve its own peculiar language conventions that can either aid or censor the audiences in understanding the issues being screened.

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