Vongai Mbara Arts Correspondent
The second edition of the EU Film Festival kicked off yesterday at Theatre in the Park with the screening of "Like Crazy" (La pazza gioia), an award winning witty Italian comedy-drama. "Like Crazy" follows the unusual friendship that develops between two completely different women whilst they are locked away in a mental health institution. "Ego" from Sweden was also screened last night at the same venue that will showcase films from some European Union member states for five days.
A total of 11 selected films from eleven EU Member States will make up the festival with a minimum of two films per day. The festival will stretch up to Saturday, screening award-winning films "I am not a Witch", "Leaving Africa" and "I Am Not Your Negro" among others. "I am not a Witch", the United Kingdom's contribution to the festival, is an award-winning feature drama by Zambia-born Rungano Nyoni.
"Leaving Africa", a Finland production documents friendship and determination of an unlikely pair of development aid workers providing sexual health and equality education in rural Uganda. Whilst all the films are internationally acclaimed, the focus moves away from mainstream narratives to a more diverse and unique visual storytelling approach, which includes two documentaries and a feature film. In a statement, Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, head of the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe said they were happy to be bringing the second edition of the festival with an exciting and artistic line-up of art-house movies. He said the films will tackle various yet universal issues.
"Our journey through Europe is characterised by the diverse cultures and facets of the continent, a wide scope of stories that engage and pay tribute to the common traits of human nature. We touch on friendship, love, hopes, dreams, anger, regrets, misunderstandings and fears that are not only European, but universal," he said.
"We are thrilled to bring this festival back to Harare after the wonderful inaugural edition last year. I believe the selection of movies this year is an even more befitting illustration of European cinema and its artistic variety. This year, we celebrate the European Year of Cultural Heritage, of which cinema forms an integral part as a channel to share our memories, our myths and our narratives. Cultural heritage binds us together in all our diversity through our common history and values, as well as the richness and variety of our cultural traditions and it helps us to design our future," he said.
The screenings are open to everyone and admission is free.