TIFF review: Rafiki

Wanuri Kahiu's film about two teenage girls falling in love in Kenya is full of fresh energy and makes an important cultural statement


RAFIKI DISC D: Wanuri Kahiu. Kenya. 82 min. Sep 6, 6:30 pm, Scotiabank 2 Sep 8, 10 pm, TBLB 3 Sep 16, 11:45 am, Scotiabank 4. See listing. Rating: NNN


In Kenya, where homosexuality is a crime, two teenage girls fall giddily in love. Daughters of male politicians running against each other, their friendship – “Rafiki” means “friend” – faces obstacles from the start.

Director Kahiu has a keen eye for Nairobi’s vibrant street life, and her handling of the burgeoning relationship feels sincere and natural. A breath of fresh energy that makes an important cultural statement, this simply told story is buoyed by a sizzling soundtrack of Kenyan pop.

Rafiki has been banned by the Kenyan government.

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