The Mbira Series: Mbira Dza Vadzimu - Urban And Rural Ceremonies
Filmed in 1975 and restored from 16mm in 2021. Documentary shows Hakurotwi Mude and his group performing in several striking scenes: there is an informal spirit ceremony in his urban residence where he is possessed by an important Shona spirit as ceremonial beer is passed around. Next, Mude’s group plays at a ritual sacrifice in the countryside: a great man has died and a bull is killed to follow his spirit into the afterlife. Finally, Mude performs songs of sadness and comfort at a woman’s funeral, conducted in both Christian and traditional rites.
The film faithfully captures a sense of spirit and place in the use of music for various Shona activities. It also highlights the major vocal styles that Mude employs, and preserves him at the peak of his talents, passionately entreating the spirits to come.