New Local Film ‘Goodman’ Sheds Light On Stereotyping Sex Workers
MUTARE, ZIMBABWE– On Saturday the 15th of December, Award-Winning filmmaker Igi Matope premiered his latest offering, a feature film titled Goodman at Skyview Hotel in Mutare. Goodman, produced by Pikicha Afrika, features Mutare’s renowned actors Farirai Clarence Borerwe who plays the leading character Simba and Tapiwa Marahwa as Jeanette, the female lead.
Shot on location in the eastern border city, the premiere drew a sizeable audience from locals.
Film lovers sacrificed their hard earned cash to buy tickets for the much-anticipated film premiere and one question was on people’s minds, would the film be worth it?
The 1 hour 33-minute long film is premised around a man- Simba- portrayed as decent and honest, waking up to a lady-of-the-night-Jeannette- in his bed after a corporate party. The woman soon blackmails him with pregnancy. When he discovers that the ‘sexcapade’ was part of a conspiracy, it’s too late and his world takes a turn.
Goodman, which was filmed in one take, explores amongst other themes, the issue of love, blackmail, and stereotypes against sex workers.
The Stereotypes are exposed in different scenes, one which includes Simba-after being blackmailed by Jeanette, trying to help her lead a different life away from sex work, and his mother showing disapproval. Through villains K.C and James Bondera, women are portrayed as tools used to quench their appetites. This is evidenced by K.C’s consistent use of derogatory word “prostitute”.
The film brings to light the fact that for most women, sex trade is not a choice but is circumstantial and that sex workers deserve better treatment. It also questions the norm of Zimbabwean parents deciding when and whom their children marry, as Simba’s mother tried to decide for her son and later regretted her actions.
Love is at the centre of the film, and it is put to the test when Jeanette needs a kidney to survive and doctors have not secured a donor. With time running out, Simba gives the mother of his child a kidney against his mother’s will, who questions if it is worthwhile for her son to give his kidney to a sex worker who “had slept with almost half of the men in Mutare.”
Matope, who started writing the script in 2006, employed veteran playwright William Shakespeare’s style of casting a character to provide comic relief to ease tension within the film. In Goodman, this character was ‘Wise Man from The East’, a young madman dressed in a graduation gown, played by poet Shingirai Manyengavana, who craftily shifts the audience’s attention from the dilemma Simba is facing.
Nonetheless, even though ‘Wise Man from The East’ is the ‘crazy’ one, he helps hammer the perspective that people should not judge a book by its cover.
On the technical side, besides some scenes in the film in which audio and visual are not synchronized, the Pikicha Afrika crew have shown improvement from their previous short film Baba which had many glitches including lighting, continuity and character flaws.
Zimbabwe’s film industry has improved in terms of quality, despite working on zero budgets and Goodman is worth buying a ticket.
“The film was self-funded on a very minimalistic budget. We approached the film production with this mindset; we are going to use what we have and do the best we can (to produce a quality film)..,” said Goodman producer Kamo Phuti in one of the dailies.
The film is currently being screened at cinemas in Mutare and is scheduled to roll out countrywide in the next few weeks.