It is an unfortunate fact that when it comes to representation of marginalized groups onscreen, science fiction still has quite a way to go.
Films involving speculative fiction still prominently feature narratives centered around white, heterosexual protagonists - despite the genre sprouting from the eternal philosophical question "what if?"
The magnificent sci-fi short film Credence is an exquisite exception.
Set in the near future, all life on earth is threatened by a nearby celestial catastrophe. Humanity is being evacuated, but only those who are deemed the most likely to survive the journey are chosen to escape.
Against this epic backdrop, husbands John (Anthony Topham) and Scott (Alex Hammond) make the heart-rending decision to send their beloved daughter Elle (Tia Kenny) away to ensure her survival.
Created and directed by Mike Buonaiuto for production company Shape History, Credence is labeled as "progressive science fiction."
I wholeheartedly agree.
The brilliance of the film lies in its refusal to allow the sexual identity of its gay protagonists to be their sole, defining trait. John and Scott are not written - or portrayed - as stereotypical caricatures.
They are gay men whose rich emotional lives are on full display onscreen.
It is a very progressive depiction indeed.
Like every other loving parent, they are deeply devoted to their daughter. Her well-being is their primary concern as they agonize over, lament, and eventually accept the devastating sacrifice they must make to assure her survival.
Watch the official trailer here ...
On its face, Credence may seem to be a tragedy. However, director Buonaiuto masterfully juxtaposes flashbacks of the family's domestic bliss against the inherent urgency of the main plot.
The result is John and Scott's supreme sacrifice becomes an aching, undeniable testament to the power of love; to the indomitable nature of the human spirit.
Credence is bar none, one of the best science fiction movies I've seen this year. Most of Hollywood's full-length genre entries pale far in comparison to this small, intimate, triumphant short film.
Soulfully directed, beautifully acted, and gorgeously shot, Credence is a colossal achievement in LGBT science fiction.
Credence is now available for viewing via Vimeo On Demand. Don't miss out on what is certain to become one of the most acclaimed science fiction short films of the year.
To find out more about the fascinating journey the filmmakers took to bring the story of Credence to screen, visit the film's official home at Shape History.
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