Dir. Jean-Pierre Bekolo, 2016, South Africa, Cameroon, 62min, DCP, Black & White
With Weza Da Silva, Luthuli Dlamini, Akin Omotoso
In an entirely urban Africa 150 years in the future, immortal rulers control the continent, and mortals perish from a genetic disease known as “Bad Luck.” Weather forecaster Wanita learns that her DNA could contain a key to the underclass’s freedom, which causes her to embark on a post-modern odyssey that could rescue humanity. The film’s experimental nature highlights an open-ended and constantly shifting world: genetics, technology, time travel, doppelgängers, the body as text, and meteorology appear as ambiguous signs along Wanita’s journey. Each scene offers insights and reconfigures what came before as the layers of deceit peel back toward the elusive reality of the title. The future, here, is evoked with icy minimalism that suggests its meanings: if non-urban space has ceased to exist, perhaps this world of digital overlays and empty sound stages indicates that all non-virtual existence will also be a thing of the past.