I am trying to find a short film I saw a fragment of in the summer of 2017. When I was passing through the Barbican Arts Center in London I saw that they were screening a number of short films in the public areas (where you did not have to pay money to see them - as a penniless student this appealed to me).

The film featured a slim black women with a bald head. She was first shown in a gymnasium/exercise area, and later at what I suppose was her place of work, which seemed to be a biological research facility. Water was rationed, and in the exercise area it was made very clear how precious water was - she soaked up her sweat with a towel, and wrung it out into a container to recover the moisture, for example.

At work she analyzed a soil sample and found it to contain life, and had some kind of argument with her superiors. I don't know the details of this. She then escapes to the surface (indicating that the place where she lived was deep underground), and set off walking through the desert with the soil sample in her hand, which now contains a sprouting plant. In a way it was rather Wall-E-esque

I would love to know how the story ended. One thing I should emphasize is that I saw the film without sound (probably because it was being shown in a public area), so it may be the case that it was a silent film.

1 Answer 1



As a result of the Third World War, the war for water, life died out on Earth. Asha lives and works as a curator of the Natural History Museum in one of the communities established in Africa. Once he receives a sample of the earth and tries to plant one of the seeds on it. It turns out that the land is not contaminated radioactive, the grain begins to germinate. He asks the Community Council to explore the possibility of recreating life on the planet. The answer is negative and the woman is arrested. He decides to escape to the surface, to the deadly desert, and plant his little tree somewhere.

The synopsis here mentions wringing out sweat.

The setting for this Kenyan short is a dystopian future in a world riven by water wars and ecological devastation. A small group of Maitu survivors live locked up in self-contained communities where water is scarce and every member is devoted to its meticulous conservation. Each resident receives a small daily ration of potable water. Liquid waste from urine, and sweat produced while powering the manual energy-production machines, is collected in a water bottle and recycled for personal use.

Found with a search for film post-apocalypse water conserved sweat wring towel

Full film online

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    ha - you beat me to it! I found it via the Barbican and the tour pack they provide ( barbican.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/2018-11/… on p14 ). Interestingly they were apparently also showing the Black Mirror episode "15 Million Merits" which features an enclosed, artificial environment and cycling machines as a means to earn "credits" so I guess "dystopian" was a big part of the theme....
    – AdamT
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 16:30
  • Thank you @FuzzyBoots - finally I have seen the whole film! I must have just seen from 2 mins - 13 mins previously (and it's nice to hear the soundtrack too). Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 17:18
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    It's odd that the IMDB synopsis refers to Asha as he. The character looks clearly female to me. Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 18:27
  • I had the same thought.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 18:33

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