Posted February 28, 2020
by David Sapp, Cinemania Student Critic
The 2018 film Supa Modo, directed by Likarion Wainaina, tells the tale of Jo, a young Kenyan girl with a terminal illness and a desire to be a superhero along with her village’s efforts to make a film portraying her, as the superhero she idolizes. It is somber, yet playful and delicately motivating. The film shows the power of community, imagination, and culture as well as life in a developing country. Within small communities there is always a sense of unity and Supa Modo brings out that unity. The way that the people of Maweni, the town in which the film takes place, come together to make a dying girl’s last days the best they can be shows true solidarity. It also shows that filmmaking is about enjoying yourself rather than acclaim and money. The members of Maweni use makeshift tools and make a lot of mistakes along the way while making their film, but still had fun making it. Most of all, it shows that anyone can be a superhero, no matter what state they are in. Jo, in her diseased state sees herself as so much more and that is what motivates her. All of the characters had a lot of depth and the acting was magnificent, especially Jo, who gave a realistic portrayal of a dying child. Supa Modo is a very fun film that handles it’s topic well and is, overall, lovely.
Supa Modo screened at the Jacob Burns Film Center on February 15, 2020, as part of year-round JBFC series JBFC Kids, which is presented in partnership with the Westchester Library System. Cinemania is the JBFC’s after-school film club, where middle school students watch and discuss films from all over the world.
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