purging the black female horror fan from the margins
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#SciFiSunday: Teaser Trailer for Afronauts
I'm doing The Carlton all over the visual stimulation this teaser trailer for the short film Afronauts, written and directed by Ghanaian filmmaker Frances Bodomo. With almost a dozen films under her belt and multiple Sundance appearances, Bodomo takes her audience on a trip back in time as it "tells an alternative history of the 1960s Space Race" while simultaneously pitting them in a present and future where technology gives us the opportunity to learn true stories of African contribution in science and space exploration.
Synopsis: Inspired by true events,
Afronauts tells an alternative history of the 1960s Space Race. It’s the night
of July 16th 1969 and, as America prepares to send Apollo 11 to the moon, a
group of exiles in the Zambian desert are rushing to launch their rocket first.
They train by rolling their astronaut, 17-year-old Matha Mwamba, down hills in
barrels to simulate weightlessness. As the clock counts down to blast off, as
the Bantu-7 Rocket looks more and more lopsided, Matha must decide if she’s
willing to die to keep her family’s myths alive. Afronauts follows the
scientific zeitgeist from the perspective of those who do not have access to it.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign and some foundation funding, Afronauts made its world premiere at Sundance 2014. Until it makes its landing on a festival near you, enjoy!
For a film that could have been easily white-washed, Ari Aster’s Midsommar does have an inclusive cast. Before our characters are even taken to Sweden where most of the film's dread fueled action takes place, we meet them in their college town. Dani (Florence Pugh) stresses about her sister’s scary email while her boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor) drinks at a bar with his buddies, only one of whom is black named Josh (The Good Place's William Jackson Harper).
I have watched enough horror movies to know—and I’ve been brown enough long enough to know—that this setting does not bode well for a person of color. The token minority, say it with me, tends to die first. Because of this ratio, I expected a few other established tropes of the horror genre in Josh’s character, too, and I have to admit, I was delighted and surprised that nothing played out the way I expected.
"Horror has always been used to illuminate cultural anxieties and gives a voice to our collective fears. So, what to make of the gothic in America, a place which by the very nature of its founding is predisposed to a culture of anxiety? The dread knowing the enemy at the gate is understandable, but in America the enemy has already passed through it, and has been brought inside. The call is coming from inside the house."
-words by Leila Taylor