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April 19 @ 7:30 pm
its first-ever US theatrical release. Kahiu will appear in person during the run.
This Kenyan coming-of-age saga follows the journeys of Kena (Mugatsia) and Ziki (Munyiva), two fearlessly individualistic young women who, despite the fact that their fathers are rival political candidates, form a steadfast bond. When their friendship develops into romance, they must fight to protect their love in the face of societal prejudices determined to tear them apart. With a remarkable feeling for color, music, and the bustling street life of Nairobi, rising star director Wanuri Kahiu crafts an empowering, sublimely moving love story.
The first-ever Kenyan film to premiere at Cannes, Rafiki was banned by the Kenya Film Classification Board prior to the festival on the grounds of promoting lesbianism against Kenyan law. In response to the ban, Kahiu sued the Classification Board, and the ban was temporarily lifted by the Kenyan High Court, a decision which made it eligible for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar consideration. While Rafiki was not chosen as the Kenyan submission, it played to sold out screenings during the reprieve, and has played major festivals, including TIFF, London, AFI, NewFest, and the Athena Film Festival.