Pumzi (Breath in Swahili) is a Kenyan science-fiction short film written and directed by Wanuri Kahiu. It was screened at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival as part of its New African Cinema program.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world in which water scarcity has extinguished life above ground, the short follows one scientist’s quest to investigate the possibility of germinating seeds beyond the confines of her repressive subterranean Nairobi culture. Nature is extinct. The outside is dead. Asha lives and works as a museum curator in one of the indoor communities set up by the Maitu Council. When she receives a box in the mail containing soil, she plants an old seed in it and the seed immediately starts germinating. Asha appeals to the Council to grant her permission to investigate the possibility of life on the outside, but the Council denies her exit visa.