36th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL October 25-29, 2023

Tug of War

Tug of War_image_FINAL Play Button

Official Oscar© Selection—Tanzania

Denge is a revolutionary fighting for freedom from British colonial rule in his homeland of Zanzibar in the 1950s. Yasmin, a strong Indian-Zanzibari woman, is a rebel in her own way as she sets out to free herself from an arranged marriage she never wanted. Both of them push against the tide of cultural and political expectations. Their chance meeting turns into a forbidden romance as they grapple with the issues of race and culture that pull at them from both sides. The racist oppression Zanzibar experienced under British control has long gone unnoticed by history books, and the exchange of women’s bodies has been a globally contentious topic. Based on Adam Shafi’s novel of the same name, Tug of War engages with both and brings to light the power of love in the fight for freedom.
Introduction by Samhita Sunya (VAFF)

This film is part of the Middle Eastern and South Asian Series supported by UVA Department of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures and Institute for Humanities & Global Cultures.


Saturday, November 5


10:45 AM


Violet Crown 6 & 7

Buy Now

VAFF donors at the Extra level and above receive advance access to purchase VAFF tickets during our donor pre-sale window. Donors with pre-sale access have received an email with instructions on how to unlock their access. Public ticket sales begin at Noon on Oct. 6. Please visit Donor Benefits.

Film Info

Director: Amil Shivji

Runtime: 90 min.

Genre: Drama

Year: 2021

Country: Tanzania, South Africa, Germany, Qatar

Language: Swahili, English

Accessibility: Subtitles

Featuring: Ikhlas Gafur Vora, Gudrun Columbus Mwanyika, Siti Amina