WITCH: We Intend To Cause Havoc
A riveting portrait of the psych-rock 1970s Zambian band who manage to beat all odds by reforming and taking their music on the road.
You might not have heard of WITCH. They were the most successful exponents of Zamrock in the 1970s, which blended traditional African music and rhythms with a wide array of Western influences. Dubbed the Zambian Beatles and with bandmembers playfully taking variants of their Western counterparts’ names (such as lead singer Emanyeo ‘Jagari’ Chanda and one-time keyboardist Paul ‘Jones’ Mumba) they produced a sound that made them stars.
Gio Arlotta’s entertaining documentary goes in search of the band and in doing so looks back through Zambia’s recent past, charting how WITCH reflected the culture and politics they emerged from, and witnesses their revival. Chanda is an enigmatic guide and his journey in the film echoes Sixto Rodriguez’s in the hit 2012 doc Searching for Sugarman. Along with the multitude of films about Fela Kuti, Witch: We Intend to Cause Havoc celebrates the richness and range of Africa’s perennially vibrant music scene.