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Lazarus film on The New Yorker

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Musician Lazarus Chigwandali, who is a person with albinism, continues to attract interest with the latest being that his film documentary has found its way to The New Yorker magazine.

Producer and musician Johan Hugo of The Very Best, who has been working with Lazarus alongside other members such as Esau Mwamwaya, Spiwe Zulu and Clem Kwizombe, confirmed the development Monday.

“It’s finally here! The Lazarus documentary is streaming on The New Yorker magazine now!” Hugo said yesterday.

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The film titled Lazarus which was executive produced by Madonna and Bryn Mooser and directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker, David Darg, is a short documentary following Lazarus’ rise from street musician to global recording artist and award-winning activist.

He said artists generate followings and admirers which in Lazarus’ case could elevate him from a position of being of no perceived value to society.

“Now Lazarus is entertaining, he is generating emotion in people and he is being looked up to rather than looked down on,” Darg said.

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Through Lazarus’ music, audiences explore the conflicting relationship between the life force of music and the dark superstition that lead to the murder, abduction, and mutilation of over 600 people with albinism in East Africa.

According to Hugo, the film charts Lazarus’ remarkable rise to fame, from basking on the streets of Lilongwe to performing to huge festival crowds.

Through the process of Lazarus recording his debut album with Hugo, the film uncovers the dark reality of life for a person with albinism in East Africa.

“I wanted to make a film dealing with the harrowing crisis facing persons with albinism and when I was introduced to Lazarus, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to shine light on the crisis and tell the story of human endurance and the power of music,” Darg said.

He said Lazarus’ story was a perfect fit for The New Yorker Documentary as they seek to elevate unique voices and tell stories from around the world.

“It’s the ideal home for this film with their rich history of showcasing award-winning documentary content,” the producer said.

The film debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in United States of America (USA) as an official selection in April 2019 and the film has screened globally at festivals including Mountainfilm, Traverse City Film Festival, and Hollyshorts, where it won the Best Documentary Prize.

Lazarus’ film has also been screened in Malawi.

Recently, Hugo also revealed that they had finally bought Lazarus a K19 million house in Lilongwe for him to stay in a safe and protected place.

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