A feature film examining the plight of Africa's 10,000,000 children orphaned by AIDS. Everyone's Child is an eloquent call for action on behalf of Africa's millions of parentless children.
Through the tragic story of one Zimbabwean family devastated by AIDS, the film challenges Africans to reaffirm their tradition that an orphan becomes "Everyone's Child." Everyone's Child is the most recent production from Zimbabwe's Media for Development Trust (MFD). This prolific production company represents one significant trend among African filmmakers: producing feature films to intervene explicitly in urgent social issues. For example, MFD's first feature, Neria, which called on women to exercise their newly won legal rights against patriarchal custom, broke box office records so that eventually one in three Zimbabweans saw it.
Everyone's Child was produced in direct response to the prediction that by the year 2000 there will be over 10,000,000 AIDS orphans on the African continent. At the same time, the film focuses attention on millions of other children left homeless by civil wars or abandoned because their parents could not support them. MFD first conceived Everyone's Child as a training tape for community-based orphan care programs. But the rapid spread of AIDS made the problem so acute they felt only a feature film could place the issue at the forefront of the national agenda.
For their production team, MFD drew on some of the most creative young talent in Zimbabwe. The script was based on a story by novelist Shimmer Chinodya, author of Harvest of Thorns, and was directed by Tsitsi Dangarembga, author of the novel Nervous Condition. The exceptional soundtrack features 12 original songs by Zimbabwe's most popular musicians, including Thomas Mapfumo, Leonard Zhakata and Andy "Tomato Sauce" Brown. Leading Zimbabwean actors star in the film, but many of the younger roles were played by actual streetchildren trained in a special workshop.
"A moving tale of the plight of children whose parents have died of AIDS...The performances are surprisingly subtle." - Chicago Tribune "A remarkable film...A wonderful counterbalance to the many didactic AIDS prevention films which ignore the wider societal context of the disease." - Jonathan M. Mann, Founding Director, Global Program on AIDS, WHO "Challenges us to find sensible and sensitive ways to support those who cope with HIV that reflect their, and not our realities" - David Nabarro, ODA Chief Health and Population Advisor "It exemplifies the efforts of women filmmakers and will help place Zimbabwean and Southern African film on the map." - Africa Film & TV
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