“Rafiki” – a new Kenyan movie has been banned over its lesbian scenes.
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) said the film “seeks to legitimize lesbian romance,” and the authorities warned that anyone found in possession of the film would be in breach of the law in Kenya, where gay sex is punishable by 14 years.
“I really had hoped that the classification board would classify it as an 18. Because we feel the Kenyan audience is a mature, discerning enough audience,” said the film’s director, Wanuri Kahiu.
“I feel like the banning of the film does not allow the Kenyan audience to have a conversation about the film, and doesn’t allow the Kenyan audience to even watch it and as adults decide what they think.”
“Rafiki” is the first Kenyan film set to debut at the Cannes Film Festival next month. The film is adapted from the 2007 Caine Prize-winning short story, Jambula Tree, by Ugandan writer Monica Arac Nyeko.
“Rafiki” tells the story of two close friends, Kena and Ziki, who eventually fall in love despite their families being on opposing sides of the political divide. The ban has been criticised by the film’s supporters, as well as Kenya’s National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC).
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