Nnedi and Pumzi!

What a great day!  I attended a screening of Pumzi at Chicago's DuSable Museum and was privileged to hear BSFS member and accomplished author Nnedi Okorafor read from her latest novel Who Fears Death.

Pumzi is a movie I had been waiting to see.  It was well worth the wait.  Pumzi is a science fiction movie set in a futuristic post-apocalyptic Africa.  It was written and directed by  Wanuri Kahiu, a Kenyan.  In this 20 minute piece, the world is a seething desert. Humans seem to be concentrated in a glitzy underground habitat reminiscent of the layout in Logan's Run (some of you might be familiar with that 70s classic).
Water is a scarce and precious commodity in this environment, so precious that the inhabitants of this place endeavor not to let a single drop of their bodily fluids go to waste.  The habitat is highly regimented, where an Orwellian authoritarianism holds sway over a population that is not allowed to dream.  Dream suppressant pills are widely available and their consumption mandatory to keep dreams at bay. 
Asha, the protagonist, is a scientist who receives a sprouting seed which she takes as evidence that life exists somewhere on the barren outside.  She also has recurring dreams where she encounters a vibrant tree.  Of course she's spurred by a disembodied voice to take her dream suppressants.  But once the imagination has been unlocked, an idea visualized, they can't be suppressed.  Asha's determination to investigate the seed's origin puts her on a collision course with a regime as rigorous in quashing hope as it is suppressing dreams.
Aside from the superb storytelling, the visual aspects of this movie has the qualitative look and feel of a major blockbuster and the woman who plays the lead is very easy on the eyes.  Nnedi mentioned that Wanuri Kahiu's goal is to make Punzi a full length feature film.  I pray and hope that she obtains the backing and the budget for such a project.  
To my BSFS cohorts, if Pumzi happens to arrive in your neck of the woods, check it out.  As I said, this flick is well worth seeing!

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