In a world where we’re often spoilt for choice when it comes to ‘what to watch tonight’ or ‘what to binge on this weekend’, it’s a joy to come across films whose understated beauty lies in their simplicity. In saying that, ‘simple’ shouldn’t be mistaken for ‘simplistic’. These films are gems that do what movies really are supposed to do – connect with the audience’s emotions at a deep level. Supa Modo is one such movie.
Before getting into my thoughts about it though, it’s worth making the comment that the streaming wars of our time have really brought one great benefit to consumers – access to movies and shows that we rarely would have been able to see before, were it left only to the big studios, big cinema chains and big broadcasters. The search for quality content is on and, in the main, that’s good for us. More so because, increasingly, we will see these streaming services hunt for good content in territories that would have been undermined or ignored in the past.
The movie is a powerful tale of resilience, love, innocence and is a reminder about our mortality and vulnerability as human beings.
For me, Supa Modo is a case in point. Had a friend not sent me a link of the film’s trailer, I might not have watched the movie because of the way distribution has traditionally tended to work – if it doesn’t have a big-name star or fit into the blockbuster model, meh. Yet, this is something absolutely worth watching and experiencing. Supa Modo tells the story of Jo, “a witty 9-year old terminally ill girl who is taken back to her rural village to live out the rest of her short life. Her only comfort during these times are her dreams of being a Superhero, which prove to be something her rebellious teenage sister Mwix, overprotective mother Kathryn and the entire village of Maweni think they can fulfil”.
The movie is a powerful tale of resilience, love, innocence and is a reminder about our mortality and vulnerability as human beings. It gives us a picture of what can happen when we choose to be selfless and work together as communities. Though, as an audience, we are aware early on that Jo won’t live for long, the movie’s brilliance is in its masterful handling of a theme none of us ever really want to talk about – death.
Supa Modo, a Kenyan-German co-production shot just outside Nairobi, is directed by Likarion Wainana from an original screenplay by Mugambi Nthiga. The film stars young talent Stycie Waweru who delivers a moving performance as Jo. She is backed by a strong cast, featuring Marrianne Nungo as Kathryn and Nyawara Ndambia as Mwix, Jo’s mom and sister respectively. It’s worth mentioning that the movie was entered as Kenya’s official submission to the 91st Academy Awards in the Foreign Language category, though it went on to miss out on the nomination.
…the movie’s brilliance is in its masterful handling of a theme none of us ever really want to talk about – death.
Supa Modo is a movie that’s as heart-warming as it is heart-breaking. It steers away from the bells and whistles in order to make room in the viewer’s heart for a beautiful story. It’s clear in the director’s handling of this project that he wants the focus to be on the little heroes – the children living with terminal illness – to whom he dedicated the film.
Supa Modo is available to stream and enjoy on Showmax.
It's a film that will certainly bring you to tears.