During International Women’s Week, I attended the screening of Rafiki movie. This film is about two young women, Kena and Ziki, who identify as homosexuals, in Kenya. These two women have an intimate relationship together. Their fathers are political rivals which creates tension and pressure on the two women. They are both pressured by the homophobic views of their society, and to take their father’s political party. Throughout the movie, Kena and Ziki are victims of prejudice, and they are verbally and physically abused because of their sexual orientation. They are separated later in the movie. It is only after a few years that they reunite, and that they can finally be together.
I think that the main message of this film is that these young women show the importance of embracing one’s sexual orientation no matter the political rules, views, and pressure the families, friends and society might have. For example, they did not stop seeing each other after the numerous abuses, and problems they went through. Expect the time they were separated against their will that they were unable to fight for their love.
This film reminded me that we do not share the same freedom of expression compared to other countries. It pointed out and showed me how LBGTQ+ communities must hide, and how they get arrested for their sexual orientation in some countries. It demonstrates how in certain countries such as Canada and the United-States, we have the opportunity, most of the time, to be ourselves without experiencing discrimination, and frequent verbal and physical assaults. This film did not make me see these issues differently, however, it reminded me of the difficulties, and horrific acts people go through for the things we take for granted. This representation of a homosexual’s life in Kenya was very controversial for the Kenyan government because homosexuality is illegal in Kenya. Sadly, the movie was banned from the Kenya Film Classification Board. It also demonstrates the main message of the movie through discriminative acts that the film faced.
I would recommend this movie for its relatable message such as the topic of young love and how it shows that across the world we go through the same emotions, and relationships regardless of the gender of the love. I also love that people of color could express their own stories and experiences based on their one creative freedom and views. By interview some people at the screening, they shared to me these thoughts which I found very interesting and accurate.