• Films play a crucial role in our lives and it is perhaps the most successful mode of communication up to date.
  • Modern films are now serious work of academics and actually help trigger conversations and debates about serious topics such as artificial intelligence, life after death, hacking, Startups etc.

Films play a crucial role in our lives and it is perhaps the most successful mode of communication up to date, some come packed with lessons, others full of entertainment and others are just good to pass the time.

The Horse In Motion, a series of photographs consisting of a galloping horse, is considered by many critics as the first movie ever made.

The year was in June 15, 1878 and the producer behind it the 30 second film was Eadweard Muybridge.

Since then a lot has changed and remained the same at the same time, the earliest films were in black and white, under a minute long and without recorded sound while today’s films are coloured, some longer than two hours and depend on sound as much as it depends on visual.

Films are however, much more than just entertainment tools, modern films can help trigger conversations and debates about serious topics about a myriad of topics such as artificial intelligence, life after death, hacking, startups and innovation.

Here are five movies and series, which will leave you not only entertained but seriously informed as well, that you definitely need to check out.

Silicon Valley

If you have always wanted to know what goes on in Silicon Valley and the all the hullabaloo about it, then this series titled by the same name would take you on a memorable journey.

Silicon Valley is a popular TV series that follows the life of a Silicon Valley engineer, Richard Hendricks, as he builds his company called the Pied Piper. The co-creator of this series Mike Judge was an engineer in Silicon Valley in the 1980s and his experience partially inspired the plot of this series.

Richard is depicted as an introverted software developer with a crew of intelligent friends who together work to succeed and get rich while at it.

“I love Silicon Valley because it feels real to me. Although it is a fictional series, the depiction of the daily lives of software developers life and the software business is something I deeply relate with” Muhozi Emery a Rwandan software developer based out of the Andela Kenya office says.

Although set in the Silicon Valley in California, the series resonates with most developers around Africa who identify with the themes of friendship, big dreams, the struggles of making it as a developer and finally creating tech companies that eventually make them wildly rich.

Also read: 7 African techies reveal what they do for fun when they are not knee-deep in work

Person of Interest

Person of Interest is another US TV series that paints a picture

The series focuses on Harold Finch, a rich programmer, who leads a solitary and mysterious life.

Finch has developed an advanced surveillance software programme that uses Artificial Intelligence to predict violent crimes and identify the people planning them. Together with a former CIA agent, the duo combines cyber skill and covert operations to stop terrorists.

“It shows the future we are creating through Artificial intelligence. The series also attempts to predict what might one day happen to us humans or even what is already happening to us ”  Isaiah, a software developer says

The series explores the blurred lines of human control, ethics and the power of AI.

The Hacker

A crime thriller, the movie shows how a young hacker from Ukraine uses technology to work out his vendetta against the banking system when his mother loses her job.

Although the movies brings to light the ethical concerns with hacking and cyber security, it resonates with many who see technology as an avenue to right the wrong of injustice in society today.

“I identify most with his growth in the move and that his dreams are similar to what most coders have. How he learns how to code on his own and hack the system is something that most coders aspire to. It is rooted in a deep desire to learn how things work and to master the skill. Overlooking the stealing part, I like the way he ends up changing his life through technology, he came from a humble background with less privileges like most of us.”  A young developer says

Snowden

This movie is loved and hated in equal measure but one thing all parties agree on is that it is a good movie which is thought provocative and leaves you with more questions than answers.

Techies especially love this 2016 biographical spy thriller film directed by Oliver Stone and written by Stone and Kieran Fitzgerald because of how it realistically showcases the technology and hacker culture.

“It highlights the fact that we are responsible as developers for what we built and how it will be used. Our systems have consequences and its best to tell the end users what we take away from them through their interaction with our systems.”  A developer at Andela says.

The movie is based on the life of Edward Snowden, an American computer professional, former Central Intelligence Agency employee, former contractor for the United States government and a whistleblower.

Some of the themes the movie explores society’s dependence on computers, privacy in the age of government and the ever growing threat of hacking.

Ex Machina

A robot takeover is a scenario many people have at one point found themselves imagining and with the advancement of Artificial Intelligence it is safe to say it’s not entire fiction.

“A robot or AI takeover is a world where AI takes control of the earth and conquers human hence becoming the dominant species. I see the movie giving a good introduction into some of the ways that robots are being taught to learn and I would recommend it to anyone that's interested in Artificial Intelligence.”  Brian Kabiro, a techie says.

Ex Machina is one of the most intelligent and thought-provoking sci-fi films in decades and it is not hard to see why techies love it.

Transcendence

Another great movie which attempts to predict the future of Artificial Intelligence in our world is Transcendence.

Techies and non-techies alike will be locked in an endless debate after watching this movies arguing on the virtues and the evils of artificial intelligence.

Transcendence comes from the Latin prefix trans-, meaning "beyond," and the word scandare, meaning "to climb." When you achieve transcendence, you have gone beyond ordinary limitations hence the name of the Sci-Fi movie.

Ready player one

This is a movie that is bound to be marked as one of the greatest, mostly taking part in a virtual online multiverse gamer world called the oasis, where the creator James Halliday dies and leaves behind a series of puzzles that will lead to the final easter egg ultimate prize and whoever finds the easter egg will become the overall owner of the oasis.

As the steaks grow higher, deeper relationships are formed in the quest for winning the final prize.

The movie has been directed by the sensational steven spielberg and starring Tye sheridan and olivia cooke.

Notable mention....

Black Panther

Since premiering on 29th January 2018, Black Panther has won hearts all across the globe, but more especially in sub-Saharan Africa where fans continue to throng movie theaters to catch the action and #WakandaForever is now awash on social media.

There are many reason techies loved this movie that is now a classic because apart from starring some of Africa’s biggest acts to the movie borrowing some of African cultures such as the Maasai dress code but the most notable one has to be that for once Africa has not been portrayed as a poor continent ravaged by war and diseases but an equal continent where everything is possible and the cradle of mankind can be the home of technology.