83 minutes, Color
In Person: Director Wanuri Kahiu (April 26 screening only)
In a lively Nairobi housing estate where everyone knows everyone and there are no secrets, two girls share one. Kena (Samantha Mugatsia), soccer-playing, studious, and poor and Ziki (Sheila Muniyiva), bold and flighty, colorful, and rich, have fallen in love. That their fathers are rivals in a bitter campaign for local office becomes the least of their problems when word of their romance gets out and neighbors and even family turn vicious. "Good Kenyan girls" don't do this, but they do. Wanuri Kahiu has filmed Rafiki on location with a precise imagistic poetry that plays against the vividness of the life portrayed: The camera often stops to ponder what is happening. Based on a short story by Monica Arac de Nyeko, invited to Cannes (and festivals worldwide) but initially banned in Kenya, this fiercely beautiful film introduces two courageous young actors and a director with a keen eye. —Judy Bloch
In English, Swahili with English subtitles
Trailers may not have subtitles but all of our foreign language films do.
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