The list of Black “speculative fiction” writers such as Octavia Butler, Tananarive Due, and Steven Barnes is on the increase. Add to that list, Kenyan-born filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu.
Imagine a world with water and fresh air in short supply, (very real threats in some countries and steadily growing in others) that devolves into complete devastation for humankind.
PUMZI is a short film (20 minutes) based on a futuristic, borderless Africa and the people who own the last resources and therefore control communities. It’s the story of a botanist (Asha) who, against a Council’s permission, flees an enclosed community and risks her life to go up to ‘the surface’. Her desire was ignited when she receives an anonymous soil sample. Curious, she plants an old seed in the sample and it instantly germinates, to her surprise. Asha’s goal is to nurture the plant and ultimately restore life as it was 35 years ago, before World War III (known as ‘the water war’).
Now, speaking as a person who doesn’t care to watch movies all that frequently (if at all), I cannot WAIT to see this instant classic. 🙂 The wide-open landscapes with their rich red and brown hues are similar to Dune, another movie about what the lack of water does to an entire planet….AND anther movie I’ve actually watched!
Sadly, the movie isn’t available quite yet – Kahiu says her production company Dada Productions doesn’t have a film host. The good news is PUMZI was an official selection at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Hopefully it’ll get picked up soon.
Check the trailer for a glimpse at Kahiu’s sci-fi short…