Reactions to Zana

Zana, the 14th of 18 films from this year’s programme, proved to be less to the taste of some of our members than recent screenings. It attracted several comments (both for and against) about the timing of its screening, related to both the ongoing war in Ukraine and Tuesday being International Women’s Day. It gained an overall appreciation score of 74.4%, the third lowest of the season to date – some of the comments received:​

  • Thought provoking.
  • Excellent but just so devastatingly sad. One of the most upsetting films I’ve seen. So moving.
  • Harrowing, but frighteningly topical.
  • Heartbreakingly impressive.
  • Hard to comment, profound and moving, even when the war is over it is not over.
  • Gosh – a shocking portrayal of the horrific effects of war. It’s harrowing to think of what’s happening in Ukraine. Beautiful imagery in the closing scene despite the inevitable outcome.
  • A very powerful film and clearly we have not learnt from this part of recent history.
  • A beautifully crafted film exploring the grief and trauma of war, and the wounds inflicted by a deeply patriarchal, misogynistic and superstitious society. A economic narrative, wonderful acting and intimate cinematography create a strong narrative that carries the emotional connection and holds the attention throughout. Excellent film!
  • It wasn’t clear until late into the film that this was about a traumatic loss due to war. Interesting insight into a family and it’s behaviours/ beliefs and culture. Thought the lead actress was very good and conveyed her vulnerability and loss well. The end of the film brought together all the threads that had been running during the film.
  • A tough watch but worth sticking with it. Very poignant given the current situation in Ukraine.
    Beautifully acted by lead characters but very sad and not easy to watch.
  • A REALLY tough watch. The fact that it is almost impossible to separate the film’s emotional impact from one’s ability to give a rational judgement, I guess is a testament to the craft of the filmmakers.
  • An unfortunately timely film about the trauma of war. It was also really fascinating (and shocking) to see how that society policed and managed agency over women’s reproductive bodies. A really good film, beautifully shot. I am grateful to have seen it, and its resonance with the Russian invasion of Ukraine gave it added depth.
  • Another thought provoking film covering the sad reality of life for some. It would be good to have an uplifting film occasionally. A comedy maybe ……
  • Invasion of Ukraine couldn’t have been predicted when preparing the films for the current season, but why on earth was Zana scheduled for the International Women’s Day? Bad decision which spoiled the deserved credit for the film. Brilliant acting by Adriana Matoshi, clever directing work.
  • I found it a bit slow.
  • Very harrowing and very timely.
  • Excellently acted but went on a bit too long.
  • A very pertinent film to play on International Women’s Day.
  • Movie was just too narrow and too slow to get emotionally engaged or understand any wider details of what had happened.
  • I didn’t mind the exploration of grief and the impact of war, and it was OK, not the best film we’ve had — which is also OK, our tastes are different and it’s great to see a range of films.
  • Beautifully acted. Nice scenery. Unconvincing atmosphere.
  • I was strangely unmoved by this film….and, yes, I weep when watching the horrors unfolding in Ukraine. It did not make the impression I hoped it would.
  • Well acted but a bit of a gloomy slow moving film.
  • It was very sensitively filmed but maybe as a result of this it was very slow moving . Felt the acting was brilliant and the screen slots well put together. It wasn’t strong in content though and I think that earned it a lower rating for me.
  • Unsophisticated culture and an unsophisticated film. Long winded and slow.
  • Boring & depressing.