Dir. Wanuri Kahiu, Kenya/South Africa/Germany/Netherlands/France/Norway/Lebanon, 2018, 83 mins
Winner of the Audience Award for Narrative Feature, NewFest 2018
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)!
Q&A with director Wanuri Kahiu to follow, moderated by Nneka Onuorah (THE SAME DIFFERENCE, NewFest 2015)
All tickets include afterparty at Wildfang Soho, 252 Lafayette Street, 9-11pm
Presented in Partnership with
A Film Movement Release. Rafiki screens at Quad Cinema through April 25.