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Year: 2018 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Wanuri Kahiu 
Starring: Samantha Mugatsia, Neville Misati, Nice Githinji, Charlie Karumi, Muthoni Gathecha  
An image from FREE FOR MEMBERS: Rafiki

Kena and Ziki are two teenage girls in Nairobi. Rafiki is the story of their sweet and charming romance together, but things are never so simple. First off, their respective fathers are political rivals which is never a good start. Worse still, homosexuality is illegal in Kenya, so Kena and Ziki must keep everything a secret. Publicly, they can only be friends – Rafiki meaning ‘friend’ in Swahili – but, even then, they have the rivalry of their fathers to contend with. It just can’t work. Despite that, Wanuri Kahui makes sure to direct Rafiki with an incredibly positive spirit; this film is colourful, it’s vibrant, it’s funny, it’s emotionally real, and it gives the LGBTQ+ community of Kenya a voice they’ve never had before. Queer cinema is rarely from Africa so, when it does come from there, it’s always well worth seeing. If ever there was a case against homophobia and a case for love and acceptance, it’s Rafiki.

Daniel Kallin

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Screenings of this film:

2023/2024 Spring Term (digital)