David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

trailer: PUMZI

Folks on my flist are really interested in diversity activism (see the recent fan-casting of Ken Watanabe as Magneto and Andre Braugher as Professor X), so I figured you guys might be interested in the trailer for PUMZI, a Kenyan science fiction flick that's playing at Sundance.

A lot of films have done similar stuff before, so I don't expect PUMZI to be wildly innovative as science fiction -- WALL-E, in particular, covered similar ground most recently, and the "anti-dream medication" gimmick is as subtle as a sledgehammer (and can be boring, as it was in EQUILIBRIUM, a dull flick wholly redeemed by its awesome gunfights) -- but it's got an very cool feel to it, and based on the trailer it's well-executed and gorgeously shot. The costuming, in particular, combines an African vibe with echoes of THX-1138, and the production design is very nice. I think it's produced by one of the guys who produced the short film that served as the basis for DISTRICT 9, so maybe they'll put a few new bells and whistles on somewhere.

I have to confess, though, that right after "Huh!" and "Pretty!" and "Looks interesting," my reaction was *"Holy cow, will this ever hit my flist's ticky-boxes."* 1) Female protagonist! 2) Of color! 3) Who gets dismissed by authority and goes forth on her own quest! So I'm posting it here for y'all.

I don't know if PUMZI combined with DISTRICT 9 means that we're going to be seeing a wave of African SF, but it would be cool to see African filmmakers get some spotlight time.

ETA: [personal profile] rydra_wong found a WIRED article about writer/director Wanuri Kahiu and her film. Lots of interesting stuff; movies shoot in Kenya all the time, so it has experienced crews, but its indigenous film industry is kind of in a position like Australia back in the day. Except sort of mirror-image, because while Australia had internal distribution but no moviemakers they do have moviemakers but no distribution system whatsoever. Kahiu picked up some grants from various organizations, including Focus Features, which is how she met ALIVE IN JOBURG's Simon Hansen. They provided advice and funding and left her alone to make the movie, because she's an experienced filmmaker who knows what she's doing -- her feature FROM A WHISPER won five African Academy Movie Awards. She hopes to get backing to expand PUMZI, which is a short, to feature length.

Here's another picture, which gives you an idea of the aesthetic.

the main character at her desk.</a>
Tags: movies

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