Cannes 2018: Banned Kenyan lesbian romance’ Rafiki’makes history in Cannes
The director of Kenya’s first ever film to compete at the Cannes Film Festival, Wanuri Kahiu, speaks to Eve Jackson about the intolerance of homosexuality in Africa.
When Kena first eyes Zika (Sheila Munyiva), a plucky, ostentatious local who takes to engaging in coordinated dance moves with her overconfident friends around town, the pair see each other as immediate enemies: Zika’s father is the frontrunner for the Member of County Assembly, a powerful political position that Kena’s own father, storekeeper John (Jimmy Gathu) is running for as well. With the faces of both men plastered on campaign posters around town, their values and expectations loom above the women like unspoken rules. But after a few passive-aggressive showdowns, Zika makes the effort to engage Kena socially, and it doesn’t take long for the women to recognize that their fiery exchanges indicate genuine chemistry.
The future of gay rights and why it’s time for Africans to start having fun on film.