Upcoming sci-fi film “Fast Color” seeks to empower

By Erin Caine

Lifestyle Editor

Though it’s a dystopian sci-fi film about supernatural abilities, “Fast Color” places the power of family at the center of it all.

The film, which was released last year to a limited crowd, marks Julia Hart’s second directorial effort after the 2016 drama, “Miss Stevens” (starring Lily Rabe and Timothée Chalamet).

Her third film, “Stargirl,” based on the beloved children’s book by Jerry Spinelli, is slated for release this year on the upcoming streaming platform, Disney+.

“Fast Color” had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 10, 2018. Shortly after, though, Codeblack Films—a Lionsgate company that focuses on films targeting African-American audiences—acquired the distribution rights to the film.

They originally set the release date for March 29 of this year, but it was eventually pushed to April 19.

The movie stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the troubled lead, Ruth, Lorraine Toussaint as her mother, Bo, and Saniyya Sidney as Lila, Ruth’s estranged daughter.

The setting is a near-future where water has become the most precious commodity on Earth. Ruth, whose extraordinary powers are unpredictable and dangerous, is on the run from organizations who want that power for themselves.

Seeing no other option, Ruth goes back to her childhood home to seek help from the family she left behind.

Jamie Broadnax of Black Girl Nerds noted that the film features an “ensemble of magical Black girls” as “the central figures in this story, which is a tale of identity, love, and acceptance.”

Many are praising “Fast Color” for challenging the overwhelming male whiteness that still clings to much of science-fiction entertainment with its multi-faceted black female lead.

Together with last year’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” which stars Storm Reid and Oprah Winfrey, “Fast Color” is hopefully signaling the beginning of a more inclusive American sci-fi.

Variety’s Amy Nicholson said, “‘Fast Color’ hits its themes about empowerment hard, especially the idea that if mankind ever knew what women could truly do, the planet would implode.”

Rafael Motamayor of Flickering Myth said that the film seems to mark the start of “a new age of superhero films,” in which special powers tell “simple but powerful stories about actual human beings.”

Drawing viewers into the underlying story—the heart—of a movie can prove a daunting task, and yet “Fast Color” seems up to the challenge.

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