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Directed by Wanuri Kahiu

Kenya, South Africa, Germany, Netherlands, France, Norway, Lebanon 2018 83 mins. In English, Swahili with subtitles

A star-crossed love story between two young women, Kena (Samantha Muatsia) and Zika (Sheila Munyiva), whose fathers are political adversaries in a small Kenyan town. While using a traditional narrative structure to tell a stil-taboo story (Kenya continues to criminalize homosexuality), the yearnings of a first romance condemned by family and community are presented in a delightfully sweet and vibrant visual palette. As director Kahiu describes, “My brand is something we call Afrobubblegum, which is fun, fierce, and frivolous African art…it’s important to see black people in joy, in hope, and see them in beautiful, loving ways.” Outside of a seven-day single theatre run that allowed Rafiki the chance for a Best Foreign Language Film nomination, the film has been banned in Kenya. Co-presented with the Cascade Festival of African Films.

Filmography: First feature

Sponsored by MUBI and Adelsheim Vineyard

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.