Previous Work

Not available for screening anymore


Directed by Alla Kovgan, David Hinton

  • USA, United Kingdom, Mozambique 2008; 35 min
  • Original version: English
  • Genre: Short, Drama
    • Grand Prize Best Narrative - Black Maria FF
    • Afropop Award - The Real Life Documentary Festival
    • Best Documentary Short - Africa World Documentary FF
    • Grand Prix - Napolidanza International Festival of Videodance

  • Toronto IFF
    IFF Rotterdam

  • From the director of CUNNINGHAM presented at CineMart


NORA is based on true stories of the dancer Nora Chipaumire, who was born in Zimbabwe in 1965. In the film, Nora returns to the landscape of her childhood and takes a journey through some vivid memories of her youth. Using performance and dance, she brings her history to life in a swiftly-moving poem of sound and image. The result is a film about family dramas, difficult love affairs and militant politics, which moves back and forth between the comic and the tragic, the joyful and the mournful. It is a film about a girl who is constantly embattled - struggling against all kinds of intimidation and violence - but who slowly gathers strength, pride and independence. Shot entirely on location in Southern Africa, NORA includes a multitude of local performers and dancers of all ages, from young schoolchildren to ancient grandmothers, and much of the music is specially composed by a legend of Zimbabwean music - Thomas Mapfumo.

Director's Statement

NORA’s story is full of drama but we wanted to tell it not as a dramatist would, but as a poet would. We wanted something more rapid, vivid, and economical than conventional drama - something that combined clarity of storytelling with density of meaning. We wanted the film to work through metaphor, distilling the abstract into the concrete, and expressing the emotional through the physical. Dance was perfect for our purposes. It allowed us to give unusual rhythms to narrative, and invent different ways to tell different stories. We kept feeling that we needed to invent a certain cinematic language to achieve what we were after - we had never seen a film like this before - and this made the whole experience of making into an exhilarating adventure.



    Alla Kovgan