CIFF Review : Meerkat Moonship
(S. Africa) Although this movie was on my must see film list, I lucked up and saw this movie as part of the Taste of the Festival, which are free screenings of select films. The movie centers around a young girl, Gideonette, who believes she is haunted by a family curse. She thinks “the curse,” which she believes is a hairy creature from a folktale, is going to end her life at any moment, and begins preparing for her impending death.
After the death of her father, who is the only one to assure her that there is no curse, she is sent away to live with her grandparents. Her grandfather is building a huge moonship for a little boy, named Bhubasi, who is “training” to be an astronaut. It is from watching and connecting with this boy that she makes her first friend.
This film had me going through so many emotions. I was happy to see Gideonette begin to let down her guard and enjoy being a child, I became worried that she was going to succumb to the curse, and I cried during the launch of the moonship.
This movie also made me think about mental health and anxiety. The movie gave fantastic imagery to what living in fear looks like. Seeing Gideonette living her young life afraid of everything that she believes could cause her death and avoiding people and situations out of fear for her safety, made me pause and think about people in my life who are affected by anxiety.
I’m so glad I saw this movie.
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