Group to screen U.S. premiere of “Robert Mugabe…What Happened?”

05/07/2012 (press release) // New York, NY, USA // nyscreening // Zimdesk

Taurai – Speak Up – Khulumani, a New York-based group that seeks to promote dialogue and awareness on issues in its native country of Zimbabwe, will present the U.S. premiere of “Robert Mugabe…What Happened?

The film, which will be screened May 17 at the New York Institute of Technology, is a biopic that dramatically illustrates Mugabe’s evolution from revolutionary to tyrant. In it, filmmaker Simon Bright explores the life of the nationalist African intellectual-turned-freedom fighter, who led his people to independence after a protracted guerilla war against an apartheid-style British settler regime. After the screening, a panel will discuss various aspects of the film and Mugabe himself.

“This is a very important film, and one that tells the story of Robert Mugabe, his rise to war-hero status and his eventual corrupt rule of Zimbabwe,” said the organizers of the event. “As we look at the country where it sits 32 years later, a shell of what it once was, we are reflecting not only on how Zimbabwe got to be what it is today, but also how we can resolve the challenges.”

“Robert Mugabe…What Happened?” had its world premiere as the opening night film at the Encounters South Africa International Documentary Festival in Cape Town in 2011. Since then, it has sold out from Cape Town to Amsterdam, and it is the first African documentary to receive a wide cinema release in the United Kingdom.

The panel discussion will feature Bright, a once-jailed and now exiled Zimbabwean who now directs the annual Afrika Eye Film Festival. Bright’s notable works include producing two fiction films selected for the Cannes Film Festival, as well as a pan-African drama series celebrating the talents of African’s women writers/directors. He is the founder of Zimmedia and is married to award-winning director Ingrid Sinclaire. Bright will be joined on the panel by:

• NoViolet Bulawayo, a “born-free” Zimbabwean writer and educator. Bulawayo received her Master’s of Fine Arts degree from Cornell University and is a 2012-14 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her stories won the Caine Prize for African Writing and were short-listed for the 2009 SA PEN/Studzinski Literary Award.

• Dr Thomas Mapfumo, a.k.a Lion Of Zimbabwe or Mukanya, the creator of Chimurenga music. Mapfumo’s immense popularity is due to the political influence he wields through his music, including his sharp criticism of the government of President Robert Mugabe.

• Katherine Glenn, an adjunct professor of Law at Fordham University and recipient of the Kaufman Pro Bono Service Award from Harvard Law School (2009). Glenn worked as a staff attorney with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, reporting and performing advocacy work in the country.

• Douglas Rogers, an award-winning journalist and author of “The Last Resort.” Rogers was born into a farming family in Mutare, Zimbabwe. His work has appeared in the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, New York Post and Washington Post magazine, to name a few.

Admission is free for the screening, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the 11th Floor Auditorium of the New York Institute of Technology, located at 16 W. 61st Street. Space is limited, so organizers are requesting an RVSP to

Refreshments will be provided by Madiba Restaurant.

To learn more about the movie, visit

Social Media Tags:Zimbabwe awareness, robert mugabe, african drama, corrupt rule, new york institute of technology, freedom fighter, africa international, biopic, zimbabwean, women writers, cannes film festival, notable works, hero status,

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