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The early rain which washes away the chaff before spring rains

Der frühe Regen wäscht die Spreu weg vor dem Frühlingsregen
Film still from Heiko-Thandeka Ncube’s „The early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains“. A black and white portrait of a person with glasses. A black cross with rounded corners has been digitally laid over the right eye.
© Heiko-Thandeka Ncube
  • Director

    Heiko-Thandeka Ncube

  • Germany / 2023
    12 min. / Original version

  • Original language


“The title of this film translates to the Shona word ‘Gukurahundi,’ a cynical euphemism that refers to a series of massacres that were executed by the Zimbabwean military in the 1980s. The genocide happened within the wake of Zimbabwe’s liberation and targeted the Kalanga and Ndebele people, part of my paternal ancestry. Symbols, commonly referred to as ‘daggers’ and whose origin can be traced back to the Library of Alexandria (280 BCE), persistently chapter the imagery within the film.
The work consists of widely sourced footage, cut and cropped into a mosaic evoking ghosts in the shape of nationhood and ancestry. Gaping wounds that are sorely mended by wisps of Christian and Bantu mythology enact rippling effects throughout the years that followed Zimbabwe’s emancipation. Adversities drawn from past centuries emerge and collide with the psychological impact of racial oppression. THE EARLY RAIN WHICH WASHES AWAY THE CHAFF BEFORE THE SPRING RAINS interlaces the historical context of the genocide with affective associations derived from its traumatic legacy. It articulates a sense of grief, fear, and violence that has been passed down through generations.” Heiko-Thandeka Ncube

Production Heiko-Thandeka Ncube. Production company Heiko-Thandeka Ncube (Berlin, Germany). Director Heiko-Thandeka Ncube. Screenplay Heiko-Thandeka Ncube. Editing Heiko-Thandeka Ncube. Music Heiko-Thandeka Ncube. Sound design Heiko-Thandeka Ncube. Sound Heiko-Thandeka Ncube.

Heiko-Thandeka Ncube is an artist, writer and filmmaker based in Berlin. His practice investigates how cultures derive meaning through suffering and how narratives, drawn out of collective memories, coincide with acts of violence. Thereby Ncube’s work unfolds along the intersections of political oppression, the Abrahamic religions and Bantu mythology, in particular the lines along his Ndebele ancestry.

Films: 2020: Islands (5 min.), Know your master (7 min.). 2021: Auf Biegen und Brechen (2 min.). 2022: The early rains which wash away the chaff before the spring rains.

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Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur