OFFICIAL SELECTION 2018
DIRECTOR : Wanuri Kahiu
COUNTRY : Kenya
YEAR : 2018
TIME : 83min
SK Nouveau 5, 11 Oct @ 6.15pm | 15 Oct @ 8.15pm
Rafiki (lit. ”Friend”) is a 2018 Kenyan drama film directed by Wanuri Kahiu. Inspired by Ugandan Monica Arac de Nyeko’s 2007 Caine Prize Winning short story “Jambula Tree”, Rafiki is the story of friendship and tender love that grows between two young women, Kena and Ziki, amidst family and political pressures. The film had its international premiere in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
Rafiki was banned by the Kenya’s Film and Classification Board (KFCB) “due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law”. KFCB warned that anyone found in possession of the film would be in breach of the law in Kenya, where gay sex is punishable by 14 years in jail. The ban raised international outrage by the supporters of LGBT rights.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Wanuri’s first feature film From A Whisper, based on the real events surrounding the 1998 twin bombings of US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania won Best Narrative Feature in 2010 at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, as well as five awards at the African Movie Academy Award, including Best Director and Best Screenplay.
In 2009 Wanuri produced TV documentary For Our Land about Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai for MNET, a pan African cable station. In 2010, her short science fiction Pumzi premiered at Sundance film festival and went on to win best short film at Cannes Independent Film Festival and the silver at Carthage Film Festival (Tunisia). Pumzi also earned Wanuri the ‘Citta di Venezia 2010’ award in Venice, Italy. Her second feature film Rafiki based on the short story “Jambula Tree” premiered at Cannes 2018 and was nominated for the Queer Palm.
Wanuri is the creator of the Afrobubblegum genre, fun, fierce and frivolous black content that celebrates joy and hope. Wanuri is a TED fellow and a World Economic Forum cultural leader.