LunarEffect: Greatness in Director Ben
by Kasanya Chavula
Every single person has ideas but it is the simple ideas that are turned into reality that shape the course of life. When a person embarks on being the first they encounter huddles and challenges that no one can dare dream of, we can only see the fruit of the labour that they put in.
It is quite amazing how we have great leaders that have shaped the world, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first president, Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Barack Obama, America’s first black president and not leaving out Meghan Mackle the first black person in the palace. These are but a few of the people that against the odds shaped and changed the world as we see it, giving us hope and courage to stand and face every challenge that can come our way,shaping our eyes to see beyond the horizon and into the far beyond. That far beyond is one that one man saw and stood out in a small town of Kitwe and defied all odds to bring about something that no one has ever dared try to do.
20th October 2018 will forever be a date that will live in the sands of time as this date did not just present a legend but some one of vision. Africa is known for individuality and lack of unity but this young man, Zambian born, decided to break the bonds of insecurity to bring forth something that no one has ever tried. This was the day that Zambia witnessed its first ever horror movie.
The fact that it was the first meant it was put under great scrutiny but Visualize Studios did not fail to live up to expectation. The preproduction crew comprising of a vast array of talented actors, script writers, producers, cinematographers, costume designers, make-up artists, not just from one company but from different companies and groups united to deliver this exquisite movie that made the audience glued to the screens not wanting to take a step out but waiting to see what will happen next. The enthusiasm and excitement could be felt so thick in the air that even a double edge sharp knife cutting through would not take away from the atmosphere that was created. The arrival of a whole cast of actors from across Zambia came and graced this wonderful and momentous occasion.
Beyond the excitement came the reality, curtains raised, and the District commission, the honourable Bonwell Mpundu, said words that were echoed only by one of the former United States of America president, “Ask not what we can do for you but what you can do for yourself”. His words were not a mere ash in the dust but they lived up to the standards that they were intended.
Then it was show time.
From this came a movie whose story line is balanced and integrated in such a way with the African tradition, giving true meaning to vision. The sound effects were in the same class as the major block buster movies that have come out from South Africa,England and the United States of America. The colour grading was the best I have seen in an African movie and the lead actor played by Kabwita Kusaloka,a.k.a Jangulu was the best that a Zambian movie has done. The casting director did a wonderful job selecting him. What made it even more interesting is that fact that he not only played the role but he became the character and it was evident that this young man, a stand-up comedian and actor is going really far in the showbiz industry. His character that had very little dialogue but lots of action is what made the audience see the talent behind this young man. The movie itself was launched on 20th October 2018 but this also coincided with the major punch line in the movie, “the Lunar Effect take place on the 22nd of October giving a sigh of intensity and agitation into the mind of the audience. In most African movies the graphic editors fail on present a ghost, because most ghosts appear with shadows but in the Lunar Effect the shadow was eliminated making it even more real.
This is not a movie one should watch once but should watch over and over.
It is high time movies in Zambia begin to be rated on the gold system, and as someone that has been a movie critic for a while now, this move, the Lunar Effect takes the highest rating so far of any Zambian movie, the 5 Gold star system. This also means that the person that put this whole movie together, Ben must falls in a category that of pioneers. It takes a mind of a genius and a true visionary to put this movie together.
One can only hope that the next movie that he does will set new highest not only on the Zambian scene but on the continent of Africa. He has set the bar high and the ball is in his court, where he goes from here it’s all up to him but as for the audience as it was summed up by Mr. Steven Lumba “this is the best” ,