Art Exhibition – The Stars are Bright – London

Exhibiton of paintings by students at Cyrene Mission School in Zimbabwe some seventy years ago

Rocks and Flowers (1945) by William Nyati (The Stars are Bright)

My visit to this art exhibition in early October 2020 felt like a journey into a fragile time warp. I left it filled with nostalgia for the land where I was born … and with a question.

How would this show of school art from Africa, intended originally for international audiences in the 1940s, be seen in the middle of Black History Month in London, over seventy years later?

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Book Review: Live Show, Drink Included – Collected Stories – by Vicky Grut

Live Show, Drink Included – Collected Stories by Vicky Grut (published by Holland Park Press)

I was hooked instantly by this collection of stories. Each one, layered with dialogue, let me witness from the inside.

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Film Review: Cook Off (Zimbabwe) – on Netflix

Cook Off – a romantic comedy from Zimbabwe

I had no idea what to expect from this film other than what the title suggested, and its location.

What a treat! No politics, no bloodshed – just a happy reminder of Zimbabwe’s everyday decency.

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Book Review: Eothen – Traces of Travel Brought Home from the East – by William Kinglake

Eothen – Traces of Travel Brought Home from the East by William Kinglake

My thanks to Eland Publishing for a copy of this book – parts of it I loved with a passion, other parts I wanted to tear out and jump on. But I never wanted to give up.

William Kinglake is so young and opinionated that it’s a shock to meet him, especially with two centuries of hindsight. It’s like meeting the worst of the British Empire in one person. His voice is brilliant, bizarre, unbelievable in places, and stunningly arrogant in others.

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Book Review: An Affair of the Heart by Dilys Powell

An Affair of the Heart by Dilys Powell

I was sent this book by Eland Publishing.

It is not a book of stormy passion, despite the title, but one that meanders slowly around post-war Greece, returning almost two decades later to the point where it begins – Perachora.

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Film Review: Klaus

Screening of ‘Klaus’ in the Soho House in London

I was invited to a screening of Klaus by the Writers’ Guild on a wet and windy election night in London.

The evening began with an introduction by director, Sergio Pablos. He praised the talents of the animators from around the world who worked on the film; he spoke of the skill of the stars who brought the characters to life – J K Simmons, Jason Schwarzman, and Rashida Jones; and he mentioned in particular the innovative way light had been painted into each scene.

Then we were whisked away to Smeerensburg to meet Mr Klaus and his neighbours, all in magical 2D animation.

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Film Review: The Boy who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

This is the story of a young Malawian boy, William Kamkwamba, who makes a windmill out of scraps to bring water to his father’s fields. William is at the heart of the film, surrounded by family, in a country approaching chaos.

The cast is excellent … and so is the windmill.

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