Focus on deaf community in 'love conquers all' story Izwi Lakho
Lunathi Mampofu has been making waves playing a love to hate character on 1Magic’s The River.
But, for this new role in local film Izwi Lakho, she is taking on a different yet familiar character.
“It is something different, something that I haven’t tapped into. It’s important for every single person to feel relevant and to feel understood. I have played a character that is similar to the one I am playing- being a tomboy. So I had to make it slightly different and worth watching, that’s always a nice challenge,” said the actress.
She worked with a young crew from director to writer of the film.
“They were very passionate about the creative space. To be aligned with that is always a plus. For the audience, the message behind the movie is to realise they have choices and that love conquers all. We all go through things in life and are never sure how we will heal from them. It is ok to go through all the feelings that come with it because there is always light at the end of the tunnel.”
Her co-star, Nkanyiso Mzimela, plays the lead character Pule.
“When I read the character brief, I felt connected to him. He doesn’t say much, I did a lot of scenes where I wasn’t saying anything and just acting out. I feel like more is said when less is said. It’s a new challenge for me.”
The story is about “love at first sound” when 22-year- old Pule, a young deaf man, suddenly starts to hear during an encounter with a troubled young lady. With his newly found sense of hearing he navigates the world of crime alongside the lady and he eventually falls in love with her.
“I have never played a deaf person and have to learn some sign language. The overall message is through love we are able to conquer all.We had a sign language instructor we sat down with and she would give us lessons to sign properly,” said the Isibaya actor.
The movie was shot in a week just before the lockdown regulations began.
The film’s production company Beyond Black is made up of three creatives who all went through the Magic in Motion Academy. Christopher Mashile (director), Nandisa Mkize (writer) and Kevin Moeketsi (producer) said their love for telling stories brought them together.
“This story sees the physical manifestation of what love can do when Pule regains his hearing. It was also particularly exciting for us to speak to the deaf community, as brief as it was and challenge ourselves to tell stories in a different way,” said Mashile.
He said it was important to be able to tell a story in different ways. what makes a story
“As Beyond Black storytellers, we love to go beyond the scope of how a story has been told before and re-imagine its possibilities.”
Mashile added that the industry was in need of more support structures.
“The gap became very visible during the pandemic when artists couldn't work. Art is the heart of any society and we strongly feel it needs to be cultivated as much as possible. We appreciate Multi Choice for creating initiatives that take a step in that direction.”
Izwi Lakho premieres on Mzansi Magic on Saturday.