A Tug of War (Vuta n’kuvute)

A Tug of War, based on Adam Shafi’s award-winning Swahili novel, is a coming-of-age love story. Denge, a rebellious and idealistic young man meets Yasmin, a young Indian-Zanzibari runaway bride. Politically charged Zanzibar in its final years of British colonial rule provides a vivid and dramatic setting for their forbidden romance to unfold.

Director’s note
Stylistically, I would call my film a love affair between The Battle of Algiers (1966) and In the Mood for Love (2000). The script style and implementation of the rugged yet seamless camera movement within tight spaces in Pontecorvo’s political masterpiece, fashioned with the mesmerising colour palette and hanging tungsten-bulb lighting of Wong-kar Wai’s romantic drama offers a perspective that does justice to both Zanzibar’s timeless architecture and the film’s revolutionary plot. Although my two references seem aesthetically polarising, I hope to find a balance between the two, considering my themes of love of resistance/resistance towards love.

Tanzania, South Africa
Director: Amil Shivji
Producers: Big World Cinema (South Africa), Kijiweni Productions (Tanzania)
German WCF partner: tbc
World sales: tbc

Funded in the WCF jury meeting in November 2019
Funding amount: 39.000 €