I closed my weekend out in style by catching the 15:05 screening of Supa Modo at Prestige Cinema with my siblings after church. Supa Modo premiered in Kenya on March 27th at the Nairobi Film Festival and has been hailed as ‘beautiful, funny and fucking flawless’ (yes, by me).
Supa Modo tells the story of a young girl (they never say her age but she looks about 10) from a small community called Maweni. She suffers a terminal illness and has been in hospital until her mother decides she wants her to stay at home. While at home, she develops a love for superheroes and decides to use her imagination to become one. She enlists the help of her family and the entire community to make a movie. Anything else I say from here will be too much of a spoiler so if you haven’t watched the film, stop here and go watch it.
Not only is it beautiful to watch (bravo to Enos Olik for the stunning cinematography), it’s also a great story. The writers do an excellent job weaving in humour, sadness and the tensions of familial relations. My favourite theme is the sense of community which is developed throughout the film. It’s shown through Jo when she asks her mother why she shouldn’t be concerned with saving her community. And most touchingly when the people of Maweni agree to come together and make a movie out of Jo’s imaginary superpowers. Jo is sick but they want to share her burden and ensure she doesn’t feel alone.
The writers also brilliantly problematise the idea of community through Mama Mwix who has to draw the line whenever she feels that the people of Maweni are overstepping their boundaries. Even though she was a known and respected midwife in the community, when she’s called upon to deliver a baby in the wee hours of the morning, she hesitates and doesn’t immediately take it up as her responsibility. I’m really glad that the writers gave a nuanced take on what it means to be part of a community, demonstrating how it can sometimes clash with individual desires.
Watch this film. Take everyone you know to see it. It’s on until April 12. Click here to see times and locations.
© Tessy Maritim