The Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) have issued a statement on their Facebook page regarding latest Zimbabwean film to hit the big screen, Escape. According to WFOZ the film portrays black women as sexual objects, they also accused the film of being racist, for their portrayal of black people in general.

You can read the WFOZ full statement below:

wfoz_statement

Women Film-makers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) congratulates Thinking Films on releasing the feature film ESCAPE. In an industry that has been starved of feature films, the world premiere of the film was a positive development. The overwhelming response from the Zimbabwean people emphasizes the need in Zimbabwean audiences for homegrown stories. The technical work on the film gives us hope that one-day Zimbabwean films will compete on the global market.

However, WFOZ also expresses concern with the portrayal of black women in the film. Producers of the film have announced that they are targeting the international market. This means ESCAPE will become yet another film reinforcing negative stereotypes of African people, especially women. The representation of the black woman as being not much than a sexual being with very little else to offer is one that we find disturbing and it counters the revolution by a lot of African women film-makers to create an alternative narrative. Narratives that will show the world that there is more to the black African women besides being a victim and an object of sexual desire.

As an organisation we are behind all efforts to grow the industry but we also hope to see stories that are liberating to black Africans. We also hope that one day we will walk into a cinema and watch a movie that is not full of images that rob black African women of their dignity.

We say this not as a direct attack on the film-makers themselves but as a reaction to the blatant sexism and overtones of racism in this film. – Women Filmakers of Zimbabwe(WFOZ)