could call Cyin a Gödel galaxy. All known principles of science and logic break
down within its high-density mass. It is more like a different dimension than a
galaxy within our universe, because we can never truly understand or perceive
reality as it exists inside. Rather understandably, Cyin represents an almost
existential challenge for researchers on a far future Nigerian space station in
Adebukola Bodunrin & Ezra Clayton Daniels’ animated Afrofuturist short
film, The Golden Chain (trailer here), which screens
tonight during the 2017 Boston Underground Film Festival.
cautions her young colleague not to impose her own personal meanings onto the
great mystery of Cyin. All they can do as scientists is record data from the
event horizon. She chastises with conviction, perhaps to convince herself.
Indeed, she seems to be exhibiting signs of professional frustration and
personal depression. Her earth-bound lover Andre tries to reach out through an
interstellar avatar-based method of communication that incorporates tactile
elements, but she evades and stonewalls rather than reveal her potentially
cosmos altering plans.
Golden Chain is a short film,
but it has some big ideas. In fact, it probably could have used more time to
develop its cosmic themes and establish the Afrofuturist imagery (which seems
to just pop up in the climatic sequence). In just thirteen minutes, they do an
incredible amount of world building. Still, you could say Bodunrin &
Clayton leave viewers wanting more (and yes, time is money when it comes to
independent film production). There is no question Golden Chain could be fleshed out and expanded into a feature
length film, but it is the sort of concept-driven science fiction that lazy critics
and fan sites too often ignore.
this is a wickedly smart film that feels remarkably up to date with respects to
physics, astrophysics, mathematics, propositional logic, and critical theory. Highly
recommended for fans of cerebral sf, The
Golden Chain screens today (3/26) during the Get the Balance Right shorts program at this year’s BUFF (and be
sure to stay for the terrific Dave Made a Maze).
Labels: Animated films, BUFF '17, Sci-Fi films, Short Films