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Monday, December 25, 2006

Birth of a Critic

posted by on December 25 at 10:06 AM

On Christmas Eve 1986, I went to watch Nine 1/2 Weeks with my cousin, Fararyi. We were expecting to see lots of hot sex.


A fast taxi dropped us at the multiplex in downtown Harare. The show cost us ten Zimbabwean bucks. We took our seats with other men who were there to see what we wanted to see on Christmas Eve. The movie started. The movie ran. The movie ended. And there was hardly any sex in it—and certainly no hot sex. We were very confused? This was nothing like the poster or the American magazines promised, nothing like Betty Blue, which began—bang—with hot sex on a bed. What was all the fuss about? As far as we could see, Kim Basinger did nothing that could be considered scandalous. We wanted our money back. We failed to get our money back. A slow taxi took us home.

The next day, I read a review of Nine 1/2 Weeks in The Herald, a state-owned newspaper, and learned what went wrong: The film critic explained that the censors had cut so much out of Nine 1/2 Weeks that it should have been called Three 1/2 Weeks. That critic’s wit made my Christmas day and, eventually, my life—it was at that point I discovered the satanic power/acid of the critic. We must never forget that Satan was the world’s first (and greatest) critic.

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