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GET OUT’s Daniel Kaluuya is a Subaquatic Fish Hunter in This Short Film

A few years before running from terrifying white people for Jordan Peele, Daniel Kaluuya played a young man desperate to escape his ordinary, beach-bound life.

In Jonah, a stunningly imaginative short film, Mbwana (Kaluuya) and Juma (Malachi Kirby) are low-level thieves whose lives (and town) are transformed when they capture a photograph of a fish the size of a school bus.

The third star of the short film is CGI, which is used deftly here by director Kibwe Tavares and the production team to craft both an awe-inspiring beast and an evolving city adorned with gauche buildings, ornate wooden signs, and loud graffiti. It’s a rare story where two young people looking to escape change their city instead of changing their zip code.

Kaluuya and Kirby (another Black Mirror alum) are both excellent in their boyish camaraderie and ostentatious whims. You can almost see the electricity zipping below their skin as they move through life like caged animals attempting to burn off steam, the wordless kinetic spirit leaping off of Kaluuya’s hyper-expressive face.

Jonah is edited with that same energy, dropping us into the world with a thrilling chase scene that leaves the adrenaline high even once you realize how low its stakes are. It’s also shot in a way that accentuates the natural beauty of the place Mbwana is bagging on, creating a grotesque reflection once he single-handedly launches a tourism boom that seems, at first, like something the poor town desperately needs.

But their encounter with the giant fish won’t end after one simple photograph. This is a gorgeous short film with a staunch warning about exploiting nature.

Images: Factory Fifteen

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