Bursting with color and beautiful cinematography, RAFIKI is a tender love story between two young women in Kenya, a country that still criminalizes LGBTQ people. Kena and Ziki have long been told that “good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives” but they both yearn for independence, college, and careers. Despite the political rivalry between their fathers, Kena and Ziki are strongly attracted to each other and become fast friends. Together they encourage and inspire each other to dare to pursue their dreams in an oppressive, ultra-conservative society. When their friendship blossoms into love, Kena and Ziki must face the homophobia of their community and find a way to stay safe and still pursue their dreams.
“The really sweet, innocent love that these two girls have for each other” is what inspired film director Wanuri Kahiu. “I think it honors love in such a beautiful way.”
RAFIKI, which is Swahili for friend, has won international acclaim and awards and made history by being Kenya’s first official film entry in the Cannes Film Festival. Although it is still banned in Kenya because it “overtly promotes lesbianism,” the Kenyan supreme court did allow RAFIKI to be screened for one week in Kenya in order to be eligible for the Academy Awards. To this day it is still illegal for Kenyans to watch RAFIKI in their own country even though thousands of people around the world have watched it.
On this 15th Anniversary of Marriage Equality in Massachusetts, let’s join together as a community to watch this beautiful and moving film in honor of all LGBTQ people in Kenya who are denied the right to watch RAFIKI and who are denied the basic human right to love who they want to love. Our global fight for LGBTQ equality continues. RAFIKI is one more powerful step forward.
General Admission: $10 Advance / $12 Door