Everyone's Child

This 1996 Zimbabwean film, directed by Tsitsi Dangarembga and sponsored by several development agencies, is weighed down by its good intentions. Three rural children are orphaned when their parents die of AIDS; after an uncle and the neighbors abandon them (signaling the breakdown of traditional social structures), the daughter is forced into prostitution and the older son seeks his fortune on the streets of Harare. Though it effectively portrays the boy's life in the street gangs of the capital and the girl's entrapment by an older man, the film is a mess, a pastiche of visual styles and preachy songs that rather ridiculously delineate the social issues. On its own, however, the sound track offers an interesting selection of contemporary Zimbabwean music.

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