I was given a heads-up on this by unusualmusic over at the Racebending blog, and was so wowed by what I saw that I want to share. With everybody.
I blog a lot about how frustrated I am by the lack of social realism in SFF. If even half the energy SFF creators expended on getting the science right could be put into getting the people right, I think the genre would be taken more seriously — both by those who are already fans and by those who scorn us. But leaving aside what greater social realism might do for SFF’s cred (and my sales, as an SFF writer), there’s the fact that IMO it simply makes for better art.
Case in point: Futurestates TV. Futurestates is basically a series of potential TV series pilots done by independent filmmakers grouped around a single theme: what will America’s future look like? The results have been by turns funny, poignant, and in a few cases horrifying. But they’ve also been consistently plausible from a people standpoint. These are futures in which people of color, the poor, the queer, the disabled, etc., have not been conveniently wiped out by aliens. Futures in which the social problems of American society have not been handwaved away — though in many cases, thanks to our failure to deal with those problems now, they’ve gotten worse.
I’m working my way through all of them, but this one is currently my favorite: “Remigration”, by Barry Jenkins.
I would love to see this get turned into a series. It’s clear that (spoiler)
this family will choose to stay in the Remigration program; they don’t really have a choice, given their child’s health. But I suspect — as, clearly, Kaya does — that the rosy picture they’ve been painted of life as San Francisco’s newly-indentured servants is going to show its ugly side pretty quickly. I get the feeling this director has enough grasp of the issues and nuances to do a good job of showing all that.
Anyway, check it out!