A Kenyan film Rafiki made headlines recently after a court in Kenya banned the film over its homosexual theme.
This film is the first ever Kenyan film chosen to screen at the Cannes Film Festival. The producers are hoping the film would also compete for next year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar but to be eligible for an Oscar nomination, the film has to screen for at least seven days in its home country.
Rafiki is the story two best friends Kena and Ziki who wish for something different than becoming good Kenyan wives. Though their families are political rivals of each other they decide to resists against them to support each other and their friendship. Finally, they fell in love with each other after which things become difficult for them.
Rafiki’s director, Wanuri Kahiu filed a petition against the Kenyan government in the court to lift the ban. Last week, a court ruled the homosexual theme-based film Rafiki could be screened in Kenya for seven days making its ways clear to the Oscars.
‘Gay themes or the practice of homosexuality did not begin with Rafiki,’ Judge Okwanny said in her ruling.
The judge also mentioned that Kenya is not such a weak society that its moral foundation will be shaken by seeing such a film.
The film made to screens on 22nd September with all sessions sold out. The producers have had to add more sessions to keep up with demand.
The film director in one of his tweet thanked the People of Nairobi for giving warm welcome to the film.
Oh my Nairobi!!! Thank you for selling out the first screening!! Thank you for watching our film! Thank you for believing!!! (Hope we didn’t turn you)! #Rafiki
— Wanuri (@wanuri) September 23, 2018
Kenya’s LGBTI appreciated the filmmakers for making a movie which they can relate to. A social media user posted a thread on twitter expressing her emotions after watching the movie telling how the film gives space to those who feel lonely in a conservative society like Kenya.
– RAFIKI –
I have no words to describe the experience that it comes with. @wanuri and the whole cast were brilliant in my opinion.
It’s not just about “representation”. This is a powerful statement;
For those struggling to be themselves in a chaotic world, pic.twitter.com/thdvGBcGwJ
— KIOKO (@Sherr_16) September 24, 2018
One member of Kenya’s LGBTI community said People can see themselves on screen and they can know that it is okay to express them in that way.’