Of Nevanji Movie

Nevanji is a Zimbabwean supernatural thriller written and directed by Tafadzwa Ranganai and produced by Kuda Bryan Bwititi in association with Creative Hub Media. The movie was shot in 2019 with a projected release date in 2020 but the global pandemic delayed the postproduction stage with the movie finally being released to limited stream in February 2021. In September 2022 it became available via multiple streaming channels.

The story follows a family with a terminally ill son who delve down a traditional path that has unforeseen consequences.

Yes, it’s a horror movie.

The Good

For a first time feature film from a director, this microbudget production keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out where it all leads and it throws twists you wont see coming.

It has some solid camera work and lighting. I liked how they didn’t showing some scenes leaving room for one’s imagination to wonder….  

And of course being a local Zimbabwean production I found it relatable, living in a world where there’s a disconnect between “modern” medicine and traditional knowledge systems which can have answers where science does not. It also highlights the dangers of burying our heads in the sand or dabbling in that which we don’t understand.

Also, hello, it’s a Zimbabwean production!!! We might not be there but each step counts.

Tyler Gurure as Nashe in Nevanji

The Bad

The film leans towards casting traditional medicine in a none too favourable light playing to the stereotype that traditional healers cause messy complications. Also the traditional healer portrayed, borrows from the Nollywood version, with weird eye makeup, our healers don’t look like that, maybe that could have been the point to not type cast our own healers that way but it felt like appropriation somewhat.

Ronald Gwindi as the n'anga in Nevanji

The Ugly

It’s a low budget production, the set is limited and basically watching the same 4 characters, not holding that against the production but I did feel a tad claustrophobic.

The last time I checked I don’t think we had film school in Zim so one learns to act the hard way, by acting.

Final Thoughts

I found it interesting, nearly jumped out of my skin a couple of times too and towards the end, it got very intense I was like can it end already.

The Zimbabwe film industry for all its been through is surprisingly still young yet we have loads of untapped talent; with a decent budget, practise and some recognition… Zollywood here we come.

You can stream the Nevanji Movie via the following several ways click on the banner below to explore the options and help support Zimbabwean cinema.

Stream Nevanji Movie
Stream Nevanji Movie

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