Kenya bans lesbian love story film ‘Rafiki’ set to open at Cannes

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Kenyan authorities have banned a film that tells the love story of two women on the grounds that it promotes lesbianism but activists said the ban would only promote interest in the movie.

“Rafiki”, a word that means friend in KiSwahili, was this week invited to premiere at next month’s Cannes Film festival — the first Kenyan film to receive such an invite.

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) 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.

The film’s director Wanuri Kahiu told the BBC: “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.”

“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.”

Watch the trailer below:

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