At the age of eight, filmmaker Robyn Paterson greeted Comrade Robert Mugabe with flowers as he stepped from a plane at an air force base in Zimbabwe. She and her best friend, Mercy, were ...
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At the age of eight, filmmaker Robyn Paterson greeted Comrade Robert Mugabe with flowers as he stepped from a plane at an air force base in Zimbabwe. She and her best friend, Mercy, were poster children for the new Zimbabwe. Robyn was as pale-skinned as Mercy was dark, so the girls were a symbol that all was well in the independent nation. But it was not. Even then, members of Mercy's Matabele tribe were being massacred by Mugabe's special forces. A generation later, Robyn begins a high-risk ground search across Zimbabwe - desperate to know what has happened to her friend. Along the way she faces the dangers of filming undercover, the shock of what is still going on behind closed doors, and the stark differences that she and Mercy have come to symbolize. By the end of this journey, after overcoming one setback after another, Paterson has provided us with a new and very different look at the Mugabe era.Written by
This film is sweet and sad, enlightening and terrifying. Film maker Robyn Paterson overlays her idyllic childhood in the Zimbabwe of the 1980s with the reality of the Mugabe regime, as she travels back to the country she left with her family 14 years earlier in search of her best friend "Mercy." While the search for Mercy (get it?) drives the film, it's the modern social and political legacy of colonization and despotism that provide the real content of the story. This is a story of colonialism, racism, tribalism, and the unrelentingly, irrational fear-based tyranny of the oppressed that can result.
Thankfully, it is also a story of escape and resilience.
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