RAFIKI Unclassified 18+
A rare lesbian love story from a country that punishes homosexuality with imprisonment, this tender effort made history by becoming the first Kenyan effort to screen in Cannes’ official selection – but was subsequently banned on its home soil.
Aware of the importance of her story, writer/director Wanuri Kahiu crafts a sweet yet defiant film on several levels. Charting the blossoming bond between two young Nairobi women as they face the harsh backlash of their conservative community, Rafiki is as heartfelt as its radiant central performances and as vibrant as the neon-hued nightclub scene that marks the feature’s visual climax.
Tomboy Kena has few female friends but finds something more in the spirited Ziki. While romance between them is already forbidden, their respective fathers’ opposing political bids complicates matters. As opposites do indeed attract, Kena and Ziki are forced to fight for their happiness.
"A dynamic, smoothly-executed tale of impossible love that brings fresh energy to a subject that may seem overly familiar to western eyes." – Screen Daily
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