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Tengenenge: Zimbabwe's Hidden Sculpture Community by Jacquelyn Lobel

Badge finalist Finalist for The Film Skillet 2013 Documentary Film Contest in Documentary

In the north of Zimbabwe, at the foot of the great dyke, beside the ravines and grassy covered slopes, there lies a village called Tengenenge, rich in the many different tribes of the Zambezi river basin. All of the villagers are artists, who make their living by sculpting stone.
Like most Zimbabweans, these are difficult times for the artists. The impact of the economy has affected tourism, and in turn, there are hardly any visitors coming to buy art at Tengenenge anymore.
Against all odds, this community has continued to survive because of its peoples passion, energy and solidarity.
Tengenenge is a glimmer of joy and optimism in a country on the brink of collapse.

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RAYMOND HOLMES over 5 years ago

Tengenenge: Zimbabwe's Hidden Sculpture Community provides a revealing look at a small community of artists in Zimbabwe. The narrow focus of the film allowed the filmmakers to explore the dynamics of the community juxtaposed against the brutal face of their country that it is better known for. Tengenenge's emphasis on family, simplicity, and art can easily captivate the heart of the eternally busy Westerner. I was left blithely optimistic just knowing such a community exists. I also felt a great interest in helping them.

Technically, the film was well shot, making the most of the beautiful and primitive landscape. The cinematography kept the film visually appealing and interesting during times of dialog. There is no narrative as the story is told first hand by the residents and this is a bit of a double edged sword; hearing the experiences from the artists themselves conveys a more personal message, but an overarching narrative would have tied the pieces together well.