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Fast Color

The indie sci-fi thriller about three generations of black women with mysterious superpowers is now in theaters.

Alissa Wilkinson covers film and culture for Vox. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.

Metacritic score: 56

Directed by Julia Hart (Miss Stevens), who re-teamed up with her husband, producer Jordan Horowitz (La La Land), to co-write this film, Fast Color is part dystopian thriller, part high-concept science fiction, part superhero movie, made on a modest budget. The story, set in a drought-ridden near-future dystopia, follows Ruth (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who is harboring secrets from a troubled past when she returns to her childhood home. Her mother Bo (Lorraine Toussaint) and daughter Lilia (Saniyya Sidney) still live there, and they’re not sure how to receive the prodigal Ruth.

Complicating matters are Ruth’s mysterious powers, which are constantly threatening to spiral out of control. Bo wants to help her learn to control them better. But Ruth is being followed, and as the women draw closer together, the danger grows more intense. Fast Color is a moving, imaginative drama — and it’s the rare film about superheroic people that’s actually based on an original story, rather than existing comic properties. It centers on black women who have hidden their power for years in order to survive, and explores what happens when they’re able to live without fear.

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