5 Reasons Why Kenyan Film ‘Supa Modo’ Should Be On Your Watchlist

17 April of 2019 by

In the multi-award-winning Kenyan superhero film Supa Modo, directed by the ever imaginative Likarion Wainaina, Jo (Stycie Waweru) is a witty nine-year-old terminally ill girl obsessed with Jackie Chan movies and who dreams of becoming a superhero – a dream her rebellious teenage sister Mwix (Nyawara Ndambia), overprotective mother Kathryn (Maryanne Nungo, Rush) and the entire village of Maweni think they can fulfill.

Missed Supa Modo in the theatres? Here are five reasons it should be on your watchlist.

1. It has won over 50 international awards international awards

Supa Modo was named Best European Film For Children from the European Children’s Film Association and won a Children’s Jury Special Mention in the Generation 14Plus category at Berlin in 2018, among many, many other awards.

2. It has a rare 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes

Variety called it “a tender, bittersweet fable,” while The Seattle Times wrote, “I’m glad movie theatres are dark because I ugly-cried my way through all 74 minutes of Supa Modo. Brutal and beautiful, melancholy and joyous, Supa Modo is simultaneously crushing and uplifting.”

3. It’s produced by Tom Tykwer

German director (and composer) Tom Tykwer is known for acclaimed films like Run Lola Run and Perfume and TV series like Sense8 that also featured Kenyans actors like Mumbi Maina, but his most important legacy may be setting up One Fine Day Films in Kenya in 2008 with his wife Marie.

With their Nairobi-based partner Ginger Ink, One Fine Day Films has released six award-winning feature films in Kenya, including Nairobi Half Life, Kati Kati, Soul Boy, Something Necessary and Veve.

4. It’s a love letter to the imagination

“What’s the harm in a little pretending?” That’s the central question of Supa Modo, which Awards Circuit described as “a love letter to cinema…”, Toronto International Film Festival called “a stunning reminder of the power of imagination”, and Little White Lies labeled “a love letter to the power of escapism.

5. It’s a celebration of life in the face of death

A film about the inevitable death of a nine-year-old girl is not something you’d expect Variety to call both a “crowdpleaser” and “uplifting.” But Supa Modo is the kind of film that will make you cry and cheer in equal measure; a film that is as aware of how cruel life can be as it is of how powerful families and communities can be when they stand together. 

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