Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Zimbabwe Cinema

I never go to the ones in AmeriKa; why would I care to go to one there?

"Piracy brings down the curtain on Zimbabwe’s cinemas" by FARAI MUTSAKA Associated Press  April 11, 2015

HARARE, Zimbabwe — When the country’s censors blacked out scenes from the film adaptation of the bestselling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey,” many Zimbabwean movie lovers couldn’t have cared less. They soon had another option, which was more explicit and cheaper.

Thumbs UP for Zimbabwe!

The southern African nation’s continued economic difficulties have led to such a successful black market of pirated DVDs that many cinemas have been forced to close. Many Zimbabweans now prefer the small screen in their living rooms, watching pirated copies of new film releases to save money and in turn bringing the curtain down on the big-screen experience.

Before the Zimbabwean dollar collapsed under record 231 million percent inflation in 2008, cinemas were common in cities and towns.

And if this world ever bucks the dollar as the reserve currency Amerikans will come to understand such a thing. That's why there are wars.

Even in the poorest neighborhoods, local councils ran cinemas that were a hit with children and adults. Today, only five movie theaters remain in the country of 13 million people.

“A movie costs a dollar. Going to the movie houses costs $6 per person. You can do the math and you see why I stay at home,” said 26-year-old Samantha Baranza, a clerk at a Harare automotive spare parts distributor. 

It's not only that, it is the absolute crap that Hollywood is trawling out these days.

Traders swarm Harare’s streets, openly displaying a variety of pirated movie titles on the capital’s sidewalks. Dozens of hawkers mill around shopping malls trying to sell pirated movies and music.

Police spokesman Paul Nyathi said: “We have arrested dozens, but the challenge is that piracy is closely associated with vendors who are mushrooming everywhere, so it’s not an easy battle.”

Struggling to survive, the remaining movie distributors are experimenting with new marketing strategies, such as giving away free movie tickets at pizza houses, slashing prices by half on certain days, and advertising in neighborhoods via megaphone.


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