Directed by Wanuri Kahiu
Film Movement
83 Minutes
English, Swahili
LGBTQ, African Diaspora, Drama
African Studies, LGBTQ
Not Rated
DVD $150.00
PPR $350.00
DRL $499.00
PPR+DRL $599.00

To submit an order, request a preview screener, or ask a question contact Maxwell Wolkin

Bursting with the colorful street style & music of Nairobi’s vibrant youth culture, RAFIKI is a tender love story between two young women in a country that still criminalizes homosexuality. Kena and Ziki have long been told that “good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives” - but they yearn for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls encourage each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, Kena and Ziki must choose between happiness and safety.

Initially banned in Kenya for its positive portrayal of queer romance, RAFIKI won a landmark supreme court case chipping away at Kenyan anti-LGBT legislation. Featuring remarkable performances by newcomers Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva, RAFIKI is a hip tale of first love “reminiscent of the early work of Spike Lee” (Screen Daily) that’s “impossible not to celebrate” (Variety)!

DVD Features

Discs: 1

  • Highest Rating
    "[A]t home, where homosexuality remains a criminal offense, “Rafiki” has been slapped with a ban for its positive representation — a state of affairs that makes this lively, brightly performed film impossible not to celebrate...."
    Guy Lodge, Variety
  • Highest Rating
    "[A] vibrant, pulsing piece of work, keying off the joy of young love and unexpected discovery. "
    Jason Bailey, Flavorwire
  • Highest Rating
    "[W]ith Rafiki, the director has produced a wholly new vision of African filmmaking that is vibrant, compassionate, and joyous."
    Sarah-Tai Black, Cinema Scope
  • Highest Rating
    "A burst of unfiltered teenage energy. Lively and full of vision! [Kahiu] has a wonderful eye for detail and lyricism."
    Emily Yoshida, Vulture
  • Highest Rating
    "***** (5 stars) Gorgeously shot and with a luminous colour palette, Kahiu has crafted a visually arresting and sensual film, but one laced with innocence."
    Lewis Knight, Mirror (UK)
  • Highest Rating
    "A dynamic, smoothly-executed tale of impossible love that brings fresh energy to a subject that may seem overly familiar to western eyes. ...[R]eminiscent of the early work of Spike Lee."
    Allan Hunter, Screen Daily
  • Highest Rating
    "[B]y framing an effervescent lesbian romance against a backdrop of political allegiance and the societal taboos surrounding LGBTQ rights, Rafiki finds its voice – and deserves to shout it, loud and clear."
    Ella Kemp, Dazed
  • Highest Rating
    "It’s undoubtedly a shame that the film’s home country wasn't initially willing to acknowledge the beauty of Rafiki’s depictions of lesbian love and countless other real-life same-sex relationships. Kahiu’s film reinforces that being who you are and loving in spite of the opinions of others is still a revolutionary act. So cheers to the Kenyan viewers, who now have the opportunity to see Rafiki for what it is — colorful, warm and real. Rating: 5/5"
    Joi Childs, Shadow and Act
  • Highest Rating
    "The story's simplicity and directness are a big part of its charm."
    Nicholas Barber, BBC.com
  • Highest Rating
    "...a dizzyingly beautiful love story of two young women coming of age in a place that’s hostile to what brings out the best in them."
    Andrea Thompson, Cultured Vultures
  • Highest Rating
    "While Western countries are still struggling to produce many queer stories that don’t end in misery and death, or that focus solely on the white male experience, the Kenyan-focused, neon-pink romance of Rafiki is exactly what the world needs."
    Katy Moon, One Room with a View
  • Highest Rating
    "Rafiki is a stunning lesbian love story - in a place where that's forbidden."
    Cate Young, Nylon
  • Highest Rating
    "Audiences here in the states will enjoy this tender, memorable movie, and recognize Kahiu as a director of note on the rise. For her colorful, deeply effecting point of view, and her intentional inclusion of female casts and crew members, she is a filmmaker to watch. It would be great to see her at the top of wishlists for future projects by both indie and major studios"
    Leslie Combemale, Alliance of Women Film Journalists
  • Highest Rating
    "With a rhythmically balanced tone constructed of humorous, acute and thought-provoking elements, Rafiki is a substantial introduction to the evolving Kenyan cinema. Kahiu captures the essence of what it means to be a (lesbian) woman in modern Kenya and questions the long-standing conservatism that prevents the birth of a more tolerant society. Depicting a lesbian story, reflecting on homosexuality in a Kenyan context with ease and replacing the extraordinary with the ordinary showcases exactly the kind of bravery the world needs right now."
    Barbara Majsa, Ioncinema
  • Highest Rating
    "[A] modest, at times striking drama that is perhaps more notable for what it represents than what it is."
    Steve Pond, The Wrap
  • Highest Rating
    "Rafiki is an absolute marvel of a film,[...]Americans also have a lot to learn from this one."
    Leigh Monson , Birth. Movies. Death.
  • Highest Rating
    "[I]t’s absolutely worth seeking out for its electric performances and its biting social commentary."
    Leigh Monson, Birth. Death. Movies.
  • Highest Rating
    "[A] significant movie"
    Steve Pond, The Wrap


Awards & Recognition

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