Kenya’s Supa Modo is the Adorable Superhero Film You Need to Watch This Weekend

It’s very rarely that you watch a film that immediately captures your heart, and this is how I felt the first time I saw Supa Modo.

The synopsis:

Jo (Stycie Waweru) is a witty nine-year-old terminally ill girl obsessed with Jackie Chan movies. When she is taken back to her rural village to live out the rest of her short life, her only comfort is her dream of being a superhero – a dream her rebellious teenage sister Mwix (Nyawara Ndambia), overprotective mother Kathryn (Marrianne Nungo) and the entire village of Maweni think they can fulfil.

The film has won numerous awards including Best European Film for Children from the European Children’s Film Association, a Children’s Jury Special Mention in the Generation 14Plus category at Berlin in 2018. It also won the Artistic Bravery Prize at the Durban International Film Festival.

Supa Modo, which has a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, was produced by German director and composer Tom Twyker (Run Lola Run, Perfume). Twyker created One Fine Day Films in 2008 with his wife Marie in order to give filmmakers an opportunity to write and produce their own stories under the mentorship of experienced filmmakers, and reach an international audience.

The director, Likarion Wainaina says he drew a lot of influence from his own childhood:

“I drew from that time when I was nine years old and I had my first cinema experience in an old shack at the edge of Kibera slums in Kenya. I saw Jackie Chan star in Legend of the Drunken Master and right there and then I knew I wanted to make films. From that moment onwards, films became my solace. Every Saturday I would go back to that shack and for three shillings per movie, I would let my mind be transported to other worlds. Worlds that gave me hope, excitement and fear.”

Watch the trailer here:

I enjoyed this film from beginning to end, even the tears I shed didn’t feel sad but heartwarming. This film tells the story of her remarkable girl, a remarkable family, a remarkable community. Even though it is set in rural Kenya, with a terminally ill character as the lead, you are never meant to feel sorry for the characters, you celebrate and laugh with them.

I think this film is important, not only because we should support African film, but because it tells an important story about imagination and about celebrating life. The community that supports and helps this little girl achieve her dreams are the real superheroes in this film, and it depicts how precious village life really is.

Stream it on Showmax now

Rating: 4/5

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