Reel Representation: Diversity in Film
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Bursting with the colorful street style & music of Nairobi’s vibrant youth culture, RAFIKI is a tender love story between two young women in a country that still criminalizes homosexuality. Kena and Ziki have long been told that “good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives” – but they yearn for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls encourage each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, Kena and Ziki must choose between happiness and safety.
Initially banned in Kenya for its positive portrayal of queer romance, RAFIKI won a landmark Supreme Court case chipping away at Kenyan anti-LGBT legislation. Featuring remarkable performances by newcomers Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva, this hip tale of first love is “reminiscent of the early work of Spike Lee” (Screen Daily) and one that’s “impossible not to celebrate” (Variety)!
Kenya, 2018, 93 minutes, Not Rated, In English & Swahili with English Subtitles, Directed by Wanuri Kahiu
“[A] vibrant, pulsing piece of work, keying off the joy of young love and unexpected discovery.”– Jason Bailey, FLAVORWIRE