Movie Review: Rafiki (2018)


Title: Rafiki
Release Date: 23 September 2018
Director: Wanuri Kahiu
Production Company: Big World Cinema | MPM Film | Schortcut Films
Summary/Review:

Kena (Samantha Mugatsia), a young woman in Nairobi, helps out at her father’s store, hangs out with her male friends, and hopes to get good enough grades to pursue nursing studies. When she meets Ziki (Sheila Munyiva), there’s an immediate attraction, and the two women soon begin dating. Not only do they run a risk of prejudice and legal repercussions (homosexuality is illegal in Kenya) but their fathers are opponents in an upcoming election.

The romance in this film is very sweet and gentle.  The cinematography captures lots of bright colors that seem to reflect the joy of young love.  But most of the shots are also really close-up in a way that emphasizes how confining life is for Kena and Ziki.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but it should not be a surprise that love does not conquer all, and Kena and Ziki suffer from the prejudices of their community.  But this movie is not without hope.

Rating: ***1/2

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