Saturday, June 13, 2009


You never know where you'll find a new, radical vision of the future. I found one recently, after clicking on the Entertainment tab of The Sub-Saharan Informer. It was an announcement for a new Ethiopian film called, Sea Port.

I was hoping to find something along the lines of Nollywood's voodoo-fried weirdness. What I found was the seed of a new kind of African science fiction.

Sea Port is the work of "renowned Ethiopian artist" Tilahun Gugsa, who stars, wrote the script and directed. It was inspired by a BBC report that the African Rift Valley crack in the Afar region is widening, eventually will allow the Red Sea to flood it, creating a new ocean.

According to Tilahun, he "included testimony and expert opinions in order to make it as real as it could get." And "two years of research" had been done.

In the film, an American-educated professor dreams of hurrying along the creation of the new ocean with explosives.

If actually accomplished, this would cause widespread ecological, political, and other turmoil, but Tilahun believes in this wild dream, hoping his film will, "light a torch which the younger generation will follow and make it a reality," giving Ethiopia, "a seaport as it rightfully deserves."

I have to admire that kind of mad scientist vision.

Sea Port sounds like it could be a provocative thriller, but what would interest me would be a film or novel about the turmoil, and the new world created if such a plot succeeded. I'm imagining the new oceans, ruled by new pirates.

Hmm. Maybe I should make a few notes . . .


  1. Considering the fascinating biota of the Red Sea, and how the new sea would be opening as the Mediterranean was closing (the last vestiges of the Tethys Sea will be gone in just a few million years), I say run with it.

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  3. Thank you Rusty. I will check out your website.