Jozi Rhapsody: Tracing a City’s Legacy through Time

Ncomi Nzimande

  • A black-and-white photograph of a man facing the camera and woman looking down, in front of a city skyline
  • A black-and-white photograph of the Johannesburg city skyline, overlaid with the text, JOZI RHAPSODY.

My short experimental film titled Jozi Rhapsody, which was created as the practical module for my master’s dissertation in film and television, is an audiovisual expression of movement as the carrier of multiple potentialities that drive transformation. I examine the ever mobile city of Johannesburg and the constant changes it has and continues to undergo, alongside those of the filmic medium through time. The aim is to fuse two idioms, those of the city and cinema, creating a “city film” that holds this unstable force of selfhood brought about by motion. The written work provided accompanies the short film in reflecting on a self in flux, and mobility as the central tenet to continual metamorphosis.

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NCOMI NZIMANDE has a master’s degree in film from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she is based. Nzimande has worked in broadcast television and film for the past decade, initially as a video editor and now as managing director of Kriptych Films. Her interest is in merging classic cinema conventions with African griot culture, the poetry, movements, rhythms, mysticisms, folklore, and spiritual traditions of the continent.

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