A SUITCASE OF MEMORIES

SHOUT AFRICA, 70’

Before there was Zimbabwe, there was the “Heavy Metal” scene. In the 1970’s, rock music rang out from Rhodesia’s black townships. Wells Fargo, a black band, was at the heart of a now-forgotten counterculture. In racially segregated Rhodesia, they assaulted multi-racial audiences with a blend of heavy rock that intertwined funk with folkloric melodies. Sadly, at independence, their music was associated with that of the “oppressor.”
Now, in their sunset years, the band’s only surviving members – Never and Ebba – collaborate with the filmmakers. They are transported into a strange place – their psychedelic subconscious – and to physical spaces that summon silhouettes of their past and shadows of their present. However, time has robbed them of their youth. Their short-term memory has begun to falter. Against a backdrop that hints of a historical tragedy, they take us on a journey that, though fragmented, offers us a window into their lives as they search for the men they once were. In the process, the film interrogates the healing power of artistic expression.
Ultimately, A Suitcase of Memories explores how much of what artists tell and do is exhibitionism, and how much of it is a sincere and sometimes painful self-confrontation.

Zinzi Nkenene is a director and producer who delicately balances art and commerce. She initially studied finance, and later studied film. She has directed two short films, and has been involved in numerous feature-length documentaries. She gravitates towards narratives and contemporary cinema that explores the human condition. She’s Durban Filmmart 2016 Alumni. She is currently in the production phase of a documentary film titled Spirits of the Karoo. The film was selected as a work-in-progress, and presented at Visions du Reel’s (Nyon, Switzerland), SA Focus 2017. She’s also developing another film project titled The Dance of Life.

Johannesburg-based Natives at Work is an independent South African boutique production house, founded in 2014. It was created in order to work with auteur directors who develop characterdriven, creative documentary films that embrace complexity over duality. Projects that use cinematic artistry to depict under-represented perspectives. The company is currently working on a slate of projects at various phases of production titled:
Spirits of the Karoo, The Dance of Life, and The Last of a Dying Breed.

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