Dark Rising

Created by Souvid Datta, The Pitch 2020


We meet Dalila Sialo (14) moments before witnessing the brutal political killing of her brother Sefu (19) in the backstreets of Nairobi’s largest slum. Seeing the death of her idol, Dalila is set off down a dark path towards revenge. Through flashbacks, we learn that across the world, sibling pairs from historically oppressed communities are developing superhuman powers. They are heralded as humanity’s next evolution, Homo Superioris. So when Sefu suddenly discovers his abilities of metal manipulation, and Dalila, telekinesis - their lives transform miraculously. After escaping the traumatising loss of their parents to tribal militia in the DRC, the two siblings and enterprising refugees, sought to build a new life in the bustling slum. But Sefu is pulled into the ranks of an anti-corruption insurgency in the weeks before a nationwide election. And in real-time, Dalila discovers the secret of his death - how the commander responsible for their parents killing, and Sefu’s - is now a frontrunner for office in Kenya. Grappling with her formidable abilities, Dalila faces a crucial decision: Should she direct her powers in the name vengeance? Or will she channel the memory of her ever-humane brother, and find redemption before it’s too late?

Biblical Connection

Romans, Chapter 12, contains powerful, relevant messages for society today. (i) Tolerance and mutual respect: We live in a world that is growing increasingly xenophobic and polarised - “…so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (ii) Empathy and love: We live in a society that is often apathetic to misfortune or inequality, especially abroad - so we must “…Be devoted to one another in love… Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn…". (iii) Moral leadership: Our political arena is one that has too often rewarded rabble-rousing and duplicity - so we should “…not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” It’s these themes that resonate at the heart of Dark Rising. Through Sefu and Dalila’s violent past and stigmatisation as refugees, we explore the intergenerational repercussions of tribal hatred, and the shared humanity rediscovered in everyday moments of kindness. It’s through their humane discovery of power and moving sibling bond that we’re reminded to find empathy, even when situational dynamics make it easy not to. And it's through Dalila’s crucial struggle against revenge, that we learn how moral leadership is a choice accessible to us all.