According to executive producer Charity Maruta the film was conceived from a desire to deviate from the paralysis caused by the HIV and Aids agenda, and attempts to move it forward.
“We decided to take a different approach from the one taken by countless films before this one which zeroed in on the ravages of the HIV and Aids scourge and did not probe into the source of the problem — sexual relations.”
The film was shot in 2008 and, according to Maruta, can be classified as an observational documentary. It was directed by former Studio 263 actor Ben Mahaka and employed an anthropological method in the form of focus group discussions with Harareans from different walks of life.
The focus group comprised seven men and seven women aged between 23 and 53 years who were booked into a hotel for six days and asked various questions pertaining to sex and sexuality, individually and in groups.
The questions were devised by Susan Pietrzyk, an anthropologist from the US, who joined Maruta and Mahaka in directing the production.
Asked whether the film was an attempt to adapt the American film Sex and the City to Zimbabwe, Maruta said that the resemblance was only in the name as theirs was a documentary.
“The reason we came up with the title Sex in the City: Harare is because we wanted to delve into issues of sex in the context of the city of Harare.”
The International Video Fair Trust — a non-profit organisation founded in 2001 — is involved in information education campaigns in the Sadc region. According to Maruta information and community dialogue is key to bringing about improvement on any of the many fronts on which we face challenges.
“Social dialogue on issues such as sex is important if we are to successfully battle HIV and Aids.”
“The film, we believe, is key to starting a communication revolution, to getting people talking about sexual behaviours both good and bad, and encouraging the adoption of healthy sexual behaviour,” Maruta said.