Dir. Wanuri Kahiu / Kenya / LGBTQ, African Diaspora, Drama / 2018 / 83m / Not Rated
In English & Swahili with English subtitles
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, RAFIKI is a hip tale of first love “reminiscent of the early work of Spike Lee” (Screen Daily) that’s “impossible not to celebrate” (Variety)!
"[B]y framing an effervescent lesbian romance against a backdrop of political allegiance and the societal taboos surrounding LGBTQ rights, Rafiki finds its voice – and deserves to shout it, loud and clear." -Ella Kemp, Dazed