“Fast Color” opens in theaters today (April 19) and stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a woman hiding from the all-male powers that be. When she reunites with her daughter and mother, the trio is forced to conceal their superpowers from the world or face harsh repercussions.
“The idea that we have power within us is something that I’ve always been interested in—whether it has been suppressed historically or by our society, outside forces, or by our own disbelief in our abilities,” Mbatha-Raw told NBC News. “It’s liberating to know that we can unlock that power by connecting with other women. That’s something that we’ve seen play out in our culture.”
Through magic and other sci-fi conventions, the film explores the characters’ personal struggles, including addiction and the ups and downs of motherhood. “I realized I’ve never seen a movie starring a woman with superpowers who is also a mother,” Mbatha-Raw said. “We take bringing a child into the world for granted. It’s a huge responsibility and a miraculous event.”
As Candice Frederick writes for NBC News, the film also stands out for its casting of three Black female leads. Twelve-year-old newcomer Saniyya Sidney plays Lila, daughter of Mbatha-Raw’s Ruth, while Lorraine Toussaint portrays her mother, Bo. “It is quite arresting to see three women of color in the desert with special powers,” Mbatha-Raw said. “We’re not used to seeing ourselves in this traditionally male iconography that is almost like a western. Optics really matter. We don’t need to comment on race. It’s not an issue in the story. It’s just present. I think that in itself is really empowering.”