This is me taking note of a short film a whole 4 years after it was screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
Blade Runner drops you in the middle of a crowded, dirty city with rain splashing in your face and says “Pay attention bitch, cause it’s about to get real.” Pumzi ushers you gently but swiftly into a world that screams “artificially created by humans” with strictly regulated air and hair, all the while whispering gently, “Don’t ask questions. Just comply.”
It’s simultaneously uncomfortable, feasible and stunning. It has that sterile discomfort of 2001: A Space Odyssey mixed with the paranoia of 1984 all while still maintaining and creating a unique identity. The technology feels too close to contemporary for comfort. It’s impressive that this production was able to deliver such an effective and poignant message in only 20 minutes. The last four minutes alone are so simple, but so powerful. It actually made me grow feelings and I don’t have those things.
Pumzi is stunning in the simplicity of its concept and the effectiveness of its quiet but assertive delivery. Wanuri Kahiu, I cannot wait to see more from you, ma’am.