Image via Into Infinity

South African sci-fi set to take us to the edge of infinity

Utopia is more than just a description of the ideal society but a description of who we want be. It Is a description of our understanding of the ideal state of the human being and for those who seek social change, it is the space that allows us to become the expression for our very existence.

Utopias are best examined through the genre of Science fiction.  Brendan C Campbell, the writer, director, producer and editor for the upcoming South African Science fiction adventure, Into Infinity, would describe Utopias as “making us question our very existence and challenge everything we know. That is why it is more important that we focus  on the journey and not on the ideal. The greatest Sci fi’s that have been made have been about the journey”.

Into Infinity is described on its online fundraiser page as “ a science-fiction adventure short film about how in order to believe in something much greater than yourself, you need to believe in yourself entirely”.

This film focuses on the journey of the heroin Katherine “Kit” Makena who’s experienced the loss of her father as a child and in the final year of university.  She is our ‘every woman’,  an understandable young South African woman. Yet she is also a student working on a procedure that, by tapping directly into the very core of what makes us human, challenges the very same power that dehumanizes black bodies.

Brendan discussed how their lead character was intentionally made to be relatable. She needed to be the underdog and the best way to represent this would have to be the black South African female, the most overlooked group in this country. “For me it was serendipitous that this movie it happens but also to our benefit that Fees must fall (FMF) has become such a big element of student’s speaking to power. The initial goal was suppose to be an ‘every man’. We all go through moments of oppression and needing to speak to power. We can choose to either speak up against it or keep silent. The irony is that she’s universal but specific to such moments. For me that is the power of art that even a person in Calcutta can even have the Star Wars story speak to them.”

I love the rush of Into Infinity teaser. It’s such a mystery featuring the rush of blinding light that cuts through the darkness of what looks like space or the representation of time. The viewer is thrust at the speed of light through what looks like a wormhole as we trail the stars to a destination unknown.  This for me is what makes me so excited for the film.  Its this very excitement and feeling of wanting to know more that makers wanted the audience to feel.

This movie will be an important one to watch for us because of how it’s very context has been so influential to the story and the production of the movie, itself. “The story is a metaphor for the film-making process. It’s about how when one challenges conventions and those control the system, sometimes there is very little power given to the story or idea – we’re too focused on how to get it made on a budget. Our heroin was made promises but ended up being lied to. This movie is from the perspective of being ignored and being side-lined by people too afraid or too busy to care.”

Their mandate was to make specifically south African film that couldn’t be made anywhere else.  Xolelwa Ollie Nhlabatsi the movie’s Producer would mention that “We are idealists. We want to show the local unique tales and struggles. You can still tell a universal story that appeals to a wider audience, that’s evocative and at the end of the day it’s its uniqueness that brings home the heart, the charms and charisma. We want the youth to watch and be like “that’s me mother fucker”. There are so many nuances in South Africa and its what’s going to build into a genre.”

 

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