Like The Sound of Music, it endures through the generations and never loses its magic. The special effects, especially when one considers this film was made back in 1964, remain superb, even today, and today’s children, living in such a different, technology dominated world, take as much delight in this film and its magic as I did some 47 years ago!
So we rounded up some children — my niece Carly and our young friends Caela and Aaron, and moseyed off down Mutare Road to the Sunset Cinema Fundraiser for Island Hospice, out at lovely Bushman’s Rock, a wine estate beyond Ruwa, offering good French-styled wines, a nature reserve, event venue, lodge accommodation, and an area of great natural beauty, featuring the sort of granite hills and outcrops that most appeal to my sense of appreciation for Zimbabwe’s unrivalled scenic splendour — and some amazing, ancient San cave paintings and other relics such as grain bins from times of conflict long gone, that secretly nestle in caves up in the hills.
Faded memories of the Drive-In Cinemas of yester-year fill me with nostalgia — the excitement of a family trip to drive-in, replete with a picnic, pillows and sleeping bags so we youngsters could sprawl under the stars next to a speaker, leaving parents in the vehicle — and later, as noisy teenagers, massive queues of cars during the festive season, lined up ready for drive-in, the hooting and waving, leaping out of cars, running up and down the line to find friends — then chomping popcorn and gulping cokes through the movie, making as much noise as one liked! I go to current feature films on the big screen when out of the country — it’s never the same watching them a year later on a TV screen — but miss being able to do this more often at home.
Mary Poppins under the stars at Bushman’s Rock was reminiscent of those bygone drive-in nights, except better — because the entire audience was outdoors, either snuggled down on ground-sheets with blankets, pillows and sleeping bags, like our party, or on folding chairs with picnic tables, all of this, on soft grass in a paddock, with a huge screen in front, stars and full moon above, and friendly silhouettes of nearby mountains at right — very atmospheric! With the early rains, all crossed fingers for a dry evening, and that it was, though cold. We were thankful for the layers we’d brought along! With super live music, refreshments on sale, a lovely friendly atmosphere and the delights of once more watching this uplifting film, this was a wonderful night to remember and we even saw a shooting star, much to the children’s delight! I look forward to the next Sunset Cinema and congratulate the Passaportis family for this brilliant fund-raiser, well organised and executed.