Directed by Wanuri Kahiu, Rafiki tells a story of love and friendship between two young women in Kenya.
The prestigious Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 8 to May 19 and the film selection has been announced a few days ago. Among the films we can’t wait to see on screen stands Rafiki, a feature film by Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu selected in the Un Certain Regard category.
A movie banned in Kenya
Rafiki tells the story of two girls Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) and Ziki (Sheila Munyiva) living in Nairobi. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety. On the film’s website, it’s billed as a love story between its female leads. Per the official synopsis, “Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.”
It’s the first time that Kenya will be represented as part of the official Cannes film selection. However Kenyan authorities have recently banned the film, saying it promotes lesbianism, which is illegal in the country. The film director expressed her disappointment on Twitter :
I am incredibly sorry to announce that our film RAFIKI has been banned in Kenya. We believe adult Kenyans are mature and discerning enough to watch local content but their right has been denied. #Cannes2018 #AKenyanFirst
— Wanuri (@wanuri) April 27, 2018
Wanuri Kahiu previously direct the film From A Whispher, distributed by TRACE Content Distribution, and the afro-futuristic short film Pumzi.