Rafiki

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 AT 7:00PM | GENERAL ADMSSION $20 • FREE with a CAT card
PLEASE NOTE: WE CANNOT ACCEPT PASSES FOR This SCREENING

With director Wanuri Kahiu in person!

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“Fun, fierce and frivolous African art.” This is how director Wanuri Kahiu defines AFROBUBBLEGUM, her vision for the future of filmmaking on the African continent. Her latest feature, Rafiki, embodies this vision perfectly.

A love story between two young women (played by newcomers Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva) in a society that still bans homosexuality, Rafiki is saturated with joy, heartbreak, and a richly effervescent cinematography that showcases Kahiu’s native Nairobi in all its vibrancy. When Kena and Ziki first lock eyes, it’s genuinely love at first sight, despite the fact their families are political rivals. The young women grow close, but as they are not able to show their attraction in public — or even to their relatives and friends — they are forced to sneak small moments in private. Together they create their own world, where their love isn’t anything other than an expression of their commitment to each other. However, the space they create isn’t immune to the biases of the outside world. Banned in Kenya mere days before its Cannes premiere, Rafiki, inspired by Monica Arac de Nyeko’s story Jambula Tree, is an uplifting celebration of love. (Dir. by Wanuri Kahiu, 2018, Kenya/South Africa, in English/Swahili with English subtitles, 83 mins., Not Rated).

This is a rental of The Loft Cinema, presented by The University of Arizona College of Humanities.

Carolyn’s note:  Just attended a free pre-film lecture at the HSIB Building by Wanuri Kahiu, who spoke eloquently about the fact that this film has been banned in Kenya, and she is suing for the right to show it under their 10 year old Constitution, which supposedly allows “freedom of expression”.  The film is being showed all over Africa, highlighting joy and beauty of Africa, not hopelessness, tragedy & despair (as in most other films). She encouraged the audience to seek joy and to express love, not the opposites, especially in art and the humanities. Kahiu sees herself as a “reluctant activist” but a fierce one. She also had the audience ponder as to where have they travelled to despite concerns over their own safety. Gay marriage is still illegal in Kenya.

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