The Chopi Series: A Spirit Here Today - A Scrapbook of Chopi Village Music
For the Chopi, music is an integral part of every stage of one's life. This film explores the Chopi’s interwoven matrix of music and personal development, from youth into adulthood, where one graduates from “smaller musics” to the ultimate Chopi expression: the timbila xylophone orchestra.
The footage for this film was shot by Gei Zantzinger in July 1973, during a lull in the production of the two 1973 Mgodo films, with the intention to document the full range of Chopi village musics. The footage was then stored in freezer vaults at the Smithsonian Institution for over 20 years before being resurrected for this film. In the meantime, Chopi tradition was almost entirely destroyed by war and drought. Additional footage was added of scenes of what is left of Chopi life 20 years later.