Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Supa Modo - EIFF 2018 review

Jo, a witty 9-year old terminally ill girl is taken back to her rural village to live out the rest of her short life. Her only comfort during these dull times are her dreams of being a Superhero, which prove to be something her rebellious teenage sister Mwix, overprotective mother Kathryn and the entire village of Maweni think they can fulfil.

On paper, Supa Modo sounds like the African film version of the real life Batkid story; a child suffering from cancer who got to live out his fantasy to be Batman's sidekick in an adventure that saw the city of San Francisco come together to Make A Wish happen.
The reality is an incredible moving, heartfelt but warm and uplifting story of a girl and her family coming to terms with the inevitable.
Jo (Stycie Waweru) is dying. She knows it. Her overprotective mother knows it and her sister knows it. She finds escape through her love of Kung Fu movies starring Jackie Chan and superheroes including her very own creation Supa Modo, inspired by her late father.
When her mother Kathryn takes her out of hospital to live out her last few months at home, her sister starts to get the village to play roles in games designed to provide Jo with an outlet for her "superpowers".
Unable to process the fact that she is unable to keep her own daughter alive and well when she is working as a midwife bringing new life into the world Kathryn's mollycoddling threatens to deprive Jo of whatever fun and joy she has left.
This leads to a confrontation that sees the family come together to fulfil Jo's final wish. To star in her very own superhero movie.
With help from the entire town, they set about putting together a superhero epic that has more heart, humour and production value than anything in the DC universe.
Forget Wonder Woman, Supa Modo is the new female superhero kids will want to be.
The film's final act goes exactly the way one may expect but it packs an emotional punch that could shatter a moon and shed more tears than Peter Parker telling Tony "I don't feel so good".
Director Likarion Wainaina coaxes terrific performances from his cast and delivers on the emotional promise with the story that he not only created himself but one that is universal in any language.

4 stars

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