Only recently, the news of Wanuri Kahiu’s debut film Rafiki made history as the first Kenyan feature film to debut at the renowned Cannes Film Festival. The announcement put Kenya on the map. And now, Kahiu has released the trailer for her history-making film!
On the film’s website, it’s described as a love story between its female leads. Per the official synopsis, “Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resit and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.”
The trailer is cute, trust me, with neat, sharp visuals. My favourite aspect has to be the throbbing night club scene where dancers are coated, I think, in fluorescent paints? Kahiu notes on the film’s site that Rafiki was inspired by the 2007 Caine Prize Winner, Monica Arac de Nyeko’s Jambula Tree, a coming-of-age story about two girls in love, set in Uganda. The filmmaker added that, “making a film about two women in love set in Kenya means challenging deep rooted cynicism about same sex relationships among actors, crew, friends, and family.”
Rafiki is Kahiu’s second feature film, following her 2009 drama From a Whisper, which won Best Feature at the Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival. Her 2010 sci-fi short film Pumzi was a Venice Film Festival prize winner. Check out the trailer below.