We’re living in a time when it’s imperative for everyone to stand up for what they believe in using their unique talents. On a very basic level, that’s exactly what the new dystopian film The Darkest Minds is all about.
The Darkest Minds is a sci-fi movie starring Amandla Stenberg, Harris Dickinson, Miya Cech, and Skylan Brooks about kids with superhuman powers who are sentenced and controlled by the government in detainment camps. Ruby, played by Stenberg, joins the rest of the crew as a runaway and the four combine to stop the adults who threaten their future.
If the movie sounds vaguely similar to current political events, then you’re not bugging — you’re just paying attention. While that wasn’t the original intent of the book the film was based on, which was published in 2013, Brooks tells CASSIUS that the film is very timely.
“The film is science fiction but its timing is crucial due to the state of America and this political firestorm,” he said. “But what the kids are gonna take away from this is that there’s hope, but the hope has to come from us. It has to come from our generation. We’re in this time when our generation feels empowered to rise up against the oppression of all minorities.”
We’re in this time when our generation feels empowered to rise up against the oppression of all minorities.
Brooks describes his character Chubs as “very protective and sarcastic,” but he’s an essential piece to the team. Not only does he have enhanced intelligence, allowing him to be an expert navigator, he can also solve mathematical equations in an instant and speak different languages. But on a deeper level, Brooks’ character is so much more than just a superhuman kid. In 2018, the year of Black Panther and Luke Cage, Chubs is a Black boy whose brilliance helps him save lives. While Brooks says he’s honored to take on the role, he also wants kids to know that Chubs’ powers aren’t completely farfetched.
“[Super intelligence] isn’t so unrealistic, it’s very possible to reach that level,” he explained. “Of course, some things that Chub does is a little bit more as it is enhanced than the regular, but, it’s not so impossible to reach that state of mind or to want to go that far with that ability as far as some of the other powers in the movie are.”
We have so many questions and so little answers. It’s okay to feel that way, just know that you’re not alone in it.
The ultimate takeaway? Brooks tells us that the film inspires the audience to tap into their own “superhuman abilities” — the things that will help them stand out and save the world. He uses Stenberg’s character, Ruby, as an example in this instance.
“One big thing about Amandla’s character is that she’s not sure what to make of her power,” he said. “A lot of young people don’t know what to make of [our abilities], we’re still learning about ourselves. We’re still learning to trust the process, we have so many questions and so little answers. It’s okay to feel that way, just know that you’re not alone in it.”