Friends over at Shadow and Act announced an intriguing event is taking this week, Monday, August 26th, at Spectacle Theater, 124 S. 3rd Street, Brooklyn, New York 11211. THE FUTURE WEIRD is a new monthly series screening films which are set in imagined futures, made by African & global south directors. Presented by Derica Shields and Megan Eardley, the title is inspired by The State’s ongoing documentation of non-western futurisms.
According to Afrofuturist legend, Drexciya is a sunken land inhabited by the children of African women who were drowned during the Middle Passage. Since they were never born, these children continued to breath underwater: first through amniotic fluid, then through lungs better suited to the new world. Join us as we go in search of the “Black Atlantis”.
Water is a cleansing force through which our bodies may be reborn, but it is also a site of memory where disappeared and suppressed things resurface, wash up, or return to us as detritus. Through myths that traverse the Black diaspora we meet a beautiful and dangerous sea goddess named mama wata. Following tourists and then refugees fleeing Europe, we consider stories concerning identity, slavery and commerce, high seas adventure, and the joint appeal and terror of being visited by ancestors or haunted by an unknown past.
The Film4-backed short Jonah, directed by Kibwe Tavares, is a stunning, ambitious hybrid of live-action and animation that reveals the cost of human progress. It received its international premiere at Sundance back in January, and played at Sundance London in April, and now we’re delighted to present the short online in full.
Jonah tells the story of Zanzibarian beach boy Mbwana, hungry for the future, who creates a myth that transforms his small town into a tourist hot spot. When the reality turns out to be far from his dreams, he sets out to destroy the town – or himself.
Produced by Ivana MacKinnon (The Scouting Book For Boys) and written by the Bafta-winning Jack Thorne (The Scouting Book For Boys, This is England ‘88), Jonah is Kibwe’s second short after his award-winning Robots of Brixton, which received half a million hits online. Jonah is produced by Stray Bear Productions from the imagination of Factory Fifteen. It is backed by Film4, C4, BFI and Shine Pictures, in association with Jellyfish Pictures, and stars Daniel Kaluuya, Louis Mahoney and Malachi Kirby.
It is Kibwe’s second short film, and he is currently in development with Film4 for his first feature. Read Tavares’ blog about the making of Jonah.
Jonah is a short by Kibwe Tavares. It is set in Zanzibar and looks at the effects tourism can have on a country from an economic and environmental perspective. By utilising a narrative of friendship between Mbwana and his best friend Juma, these themes are explored. Mbwana and Juma are men with big dreams. Dreams that become a reality when they photograph “the world’s biggest jumping fish” leaping out of the sea.
Their tiny town soon blossoms into a tourist hot-spot as a result. But for Mbwana, the reality isn’t what he dreamed – when he meets the fish again, both of them forgotten, ruined and old, he decides only one of them can survive.