Dystopian science fiction short film from noted Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu. Stylish, emotional and powerfully presented. Exquisite attention to detail tells us so much about the world in which the story takes place (e.g. the nature of this society – rigidly controlled and surveilled – is conveyed through the silence between the characters on screen. No one speaks unless it’s “official/on the record”). Reading up on the film, I’ve seen the main character described as “a botanist” and a “scientist” – I’d read her as an archivist, perhaps because the film describes a time when earth’s plant-life lives on only in memory. The depiction of archives as being potentially volatile towards the status-quo always gives me a bit of a thrill, as does the depiction of archivists as thoughtful and courageous types (which they so frequently are). Kahiu talks about the making of PUMZI. Also check out Africa and Science fiction, an insightful interview with Kahiu about the history of African storytelling and science fiction, and the ways in which they are intertwined, and about the importance of creating and disseminating images of Africa which challenge existing racist paradigms.
Scully likes science: it’s a high-stakes game. Remix by Ryan English.