Forbidden Fruit
Forbidden Fruit.jpg
Movie Poster
Directed bySue Maluwa-Bruce, Beate Kunath, Yvonne Zückmantel
Written bySue Maluwa-Bruce, Beate Kunath, Yvonne Zückmantel
CinematographyBeate Kunath
Edited byBeate Kunath
Release date
Running time
30 minutes

Forbidden Fruit is a 2000 German/Zimbabwean short film written and directed by Sue Maluwa-Bruce, Beate Kunath and Yvonne Zückmantel. Filmed in Zimbabwe, the film depicts the romantic relationship between two women, and the aftermath of the discovery of their relationship.


In a rural village in Zimbabwe, a single woman, Nongoma, and her married neighbour, Tsitsi, fall in love. When their lesbian relationship is discovered, Nongoma flees to the city. When they are reunited by chance two years later, the women decide to move together to a village where nobody knows them.

Because a lesbian relationship is a big taboo and her secret affair is exposed, Nongoma is forced to flee the village to the city. Tsitsi’s family is convinced that she is possessed by a bad spirit. After two years, the two women meet by chance in Mutare again…


Forbidden Fruit was filmed on location in Mutare, Zimbabwe. When the original cast members resigned fearing a homophobic backlash, Maluwa-Bruce recruited friends and family members to act in the film.


Forbidden Fruit won the Teddy Jury Award at the 2001 Berlin International Film Festival and the FEMMEDIA Prize for Best Short at the Identities Queer Film Festival in Vienna. It received a Special Jury Mention at the Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in Milan.

Nicole Blizzard of Technodyke called the film wonderful and Amy Villarejo of Cornell University called it "a moving call to queer, global solidarity". PlanetOut called it "the most gutsy film to be shown at the Berlinale". Daniel Somerville said "it may not be the best film ever made but it certainly breaks ground in a Zimbabwean context."


  • Screenplay, director Sue Maluwa Bruce
  • Co-author, co-director, camera, editing Beate Kunath
  • Co-author, co-director, sound, set photos Yvonne Zückmantel


  • Story teller - Sue Maluwa Bruce
  • Mai Gondai - Mai Dope
  • Gondayi - Mary
  • Tete - Mai Mary
  • Takunda - Mai Mutswa
  • Mbuya - Mukaka Muroora
  • Housekeeper - Manu Mafunga
  • Tsitsi’s mother - Mbuya Rukudzo
  • Healer - Mbuya Muchangana
  • Healer helper - Sekuru Muchangana
  • Great Zimbabwe dance group - Traditionelle Tänzer
  • Dog - Cindy[1]


  1. [1], bk Productions, Accessed: 14 October, 2020