I Am Not A Witch

Directed by Rungano Nyoni
Film Movement
2017
93 Minutes
United Kingdom, France, Germany
English, Nyanja
Drama
Not Rated

In her BAFTA awarding-winning debut feature, Rungano Nyoni crafts a satiric feminist fairy-tale set in present-day Zambia. When 9-year old orphan Shula is accused of witchcraft, she is exiled to a witch camp run by Mr. Banda, a corrupt and inept government official. Tied to the ground by a white ribbon, Shula is told that she will turn into a goat if she tries to escape. As the only child witch, Shula quickly becomes a local star and the adults around her exploit her supposed powers for financial gain. Soon she is forced to make a difficult decision – whether to resign herself to life on the camp, or take a risk for freedom. A hit at over 50 international festivals, I AM NOT A WITCH is a must-see for anyone interested in new African Cinema and contemporary female filmmakers.

Director & Cast

Trailer

Photos

Reviews

  • "Possibly the year's most audacious film debut, "I Am Not A Witch" has won numerous awards, including Britain's BAFTA for best first feature, and to see it is to understand why…Written and directed by Zambian-born, Wales-raised Rungano Nyoni, this smart and savage satire is impressive for the way it joins a dramatically involving story with a Swiftian tale of human society in general and Africa culture and customs in particular… Beguiling...wickedly smart. "
    Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
  • "Beautiful and unsettling…It is a remarkable, strange and politically potent first film."
    Michael O'Sullivan, The Washington Post
  • "Sharply observed, symbolically astute…Nyoni’s frank, confrontational style is both derisive and empathetic; she extracts powerful symbolic images from the oppressive environment…Short word on a remarkable movie opening today, I Am Not a Witch, Rungano Nyoni's first feature; also, the images of ribbons and huge spools on the truck are among the most striking cinematic objects, both practical and symbolic, that I've seen in a while. "
    Richard Brody, The New Yorker
  • "The movie is at once a gorgeous, solemn look at the way a society’s rituals can lead to hysteria, and a scathing, at times almost shockingly funny satire of national corruption… I Am Not a Witch is unquestionably one of the most striking debuts of the year, a parable-like indictment of the tourism industry and the destructive effect when tradition runs headlong into capitalist desire. "
    Eric Kohn, Indiewire
  • "Beneath the weight of history, Nyoni’s film possesses a wry, sober-minded sense of humor that elicits the pained chuckles of viewers unsure of whether to laugh or cry…[she] paints portraits of implied mysticism with elegance and precision."
    Kelley Dong, Film Comment
  • "Striking and original."
    Marcia Garcia, Film Journal International
  • "Nyoni’s direction—for which she won a BAFTA award—is bold and ambitious, and challenging at times... Nyoni is clearly confident in her vision and the story she wants to tell, and in her capable hands, the result is spellbinding."
    Katie Rife, The A.V. Club
  • "Striking…I Am Not a Witch, the dazzling first feature of writer/director Rungano Nyoni, is pitched uneasily between comedy and tragedy. One is never quite sure whether to chuckle at the superstitious absurdity of this magical-realism tale, or weep with despondency over the repugnant institutionalized misogyny it depicts. "
    Nick Schaeger, The Daily Beast
  • "If you’re in one of the cities where the strange and beautiful I Am Not a Witch opens this week, you’re lucky. See it, then hold your breath to see what first-time feature director Rungano Nyoni does next. "
    Russ Fischer, KCRW-FM
  • "Narratively and tonally, I Am Not a Witch occasionally invites comparisons to the work of Michael Haneke and Yorgos Lanthimos. Visually and aurally, though, the film marks the arrival of a unique and scintillating auteur. With a well-matched director of photography in David Gallego (Embrace of the Serpent), Nyoni presents one dazzling set piece after another. Her preferences for long takes, bright colors, and dynamic wide shots that resemble paintings cement the film as high art for its imagery alone."
    Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader
  • "“I Am Not a Witch” is one of this year’s very best films — a blast of absurdist outrage that’s seriously funny until all of the sudden it’s not anymore."
    Sean Burns, WBUR-FM
  • "You don’t get many opportunities to see a film where you feel like you are witnessing the birth of an important new talent but “I Am Not A Witch” is one such film. “I Am Not A Witch” is a film of beauty, grace, deep humanity, and fierce intelligence. Nyoni’s ability to craft such a multi-layered film and complex film is simply spellbinding."
    Beth Accomando, KPBS-FM
  • "I Am Not a Witch deserves to be watched again and again. That’s how rich with meaning it is. Moreover, it needs to be discussed, written about, and shared. It is a testament to the strange and mysterious power of cinema, which has been so masterfully harnessed by its director. ... So, if you get anything out of this review, let it be this: Watch this film. Tell others to watch it, and allow it to activate you. It might be an uncomfortable, even harrowing experience, however it is also an exciting one, because I believe Rungano Nyoni is going to change cinema, and it may never be the same again."
    Jack Virnich, Fandor

Now Playing

AFI Fest Los Angeles CA November 9, 2017 November 16, 2017
Palm Springs International Film Festival Palm Springs CA January 2, 2018 January 15, 2018
Sundance Film Festival Park City UT January 18, 2018 January 28, 2018
Portland International Film Festival Portland OR February 16, 2018 February 20, 2018
Athena Film Festival New York NY February 22, 2018 February 25, 2018
AFI Silver Theater Silver Spring MD March 13, 2018 March 20, 2018
San Francisco International Film Festival San Francisco CA April 4, 2018 April 17, 2018
Cleveland International Film Festival Cleveland OH April 4, 2018 April 15, 2018
Wisconsin Film Festival Madison WI April 5, 2018 April 12, 2018
Athens International Film and Video Festival Athens OH April 9, 2018 April 15, 2018
Minneapolis/SP International Film Festival Minneapolis MN April 12, 2018 April 28, 2018
Sarasota Film Festival Sarasota FL April 13, 2018 April 22, 2018
Cinedelphia Film Festival Philadelphia PA April 15, 2018 April 15, 2018
Montclair Film Montclair NJ April 26, 2018 May 6, 2018
BAM Brooklyn NY April 26, 2018 April 29, 2018
Montclair Film Montclair NJ April 30, 2018 May 1, 2018
Maryland Film Festival Baltimore MD May 2, 2018 May 6, 2018
European Film Festival in Trinidad Port of May 10, 2018 May 23, 2018
Seattle International Film Festival Seattle WA May 21, 2018 May 22, 2018
Las Vegas Film Festival Las Vegas NV June 6, 2018 June 10, 2018
Oak Cliff Film Festival Dallas TX June 16, 2018 June 16, 2018
Maine International Film festival Waterville ME July 13, 2018 July 22, 2018
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - Winchester Winchester VA July 29, 2018 July 29, 2018
Wexner Center for the Arts Columbus OH August 3, 2018 August 4, 2018
Time and Space Limited Hudson NY August 25, 2018 September 3, 2018
Quad Cinemas New York NY August 28, 2018 August 28, 2018
Apple Music Culver City CA September 7, 2018 September 7, 2018
The Texas Theater Oak Cliff TX September 7, 2018 September 13, 2018
Portland Museum of Art Portland ME September 7, 2018 September 9, 2018
Quad Cinemas New York NY September 7, 2018 September 13, 2018
BAM Brooklyn NY September 7, 2018 September 13, 2018
Nickelodeon Columbia SC September 12, 2018 September 12, 2018
Savoy Theater Montpelier VT September 14, 2018 September 14, 2018
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Avalon Theatre Washington DC September 14, 2018 September 20, 2018
Laemmle Glendale Glendale CA September 14, 2018 September 21, 2018
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Lyric Cinema Cafe Fort Collins CO September 21, 2018 September 27, 2018
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Belcourt Theatre Nashville TN September 28, 2018 October 4, 2018
Gene Siskel Film Center Chicago IL September 28, 2018 October 4, 2018
Media Arts Center San Diego San Diego CA September 28, 2018 October 4, 2018
The Moxie Springfield MO September 28, 2018 October 4, 2018
Bookhouse Cinema Joplin MO September 28, 2018 October 11, 2018
Reel Pizza Cinerama Bar Harbor ME September 28, 2018 October 1, 2018
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Roxy Cinema Tribeca New York NY October 4, 2018 October 7, 2018
Montana Film Festival Missoula MT October 4, 2018 October 7, 2018
Magic Lantern Theater Spokane WA October 5, 2018 October 11, 2018
Celebration! Cinema at Woodland Mall Grand Rapids MI October 5, 2018 October 5, 2018
Broadway Metro Eugene OR October 5, 2018 October 11, 2018
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Varsity Theatre - Ashland Ashland OR October 5, 2018 November 18, 2018
Lake Worth Playhouse Lake Worth FL October 5, 2018 October 12, 2018
The Screen Santa Fe NM October 5, 2018 October 11, 2018
Ambler Theater Ambler PA October 10, 2018 October 10, 2018
Sunrise Cinema Berthoud CO October 11, 2018 October 25, 2018
Austin Film Society Austin TX October 12, 2018 October 18, 2018
The Nightlight Cinema Akron OH October 12, 2018 October 19, 2018
Fort Wayne Cinema Center FT WAYNE IN October 12, 2018 October 18, 2018
UWM Union Theatre Milwaukee WI October 12, 2018 October 13, 2018
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State Theatre of Modesto Modesto CA October 12, 2018 October 19, 2018
County Theater Doylestown PA October 18, 2018 October 18, 2018
Milwaukee Film Milwaukee WI October 18, 2018 November 1, 2018
Real Art Ways Hartford CT October 19, 2018 October 25, 2018
Harris Theater Pittsburgh PA October 19, 2018 October 25, 2018
Gateway Film Center 8 Columbus OH October 19, 2018 October 25, 2018
The Kiggins Theatre Vancouver WA October 19, 2018 October 19, 2018
Living Room Boca Boca Raton FL October 19, 2018 October 26, 2018
Vermont International Film Festival Burlington VT October 20, 2018 October 28, 2018
Dragonfly Cinema Bremerton WA October 26, 2018 November 1, 2018
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The Picture House Pelham NY October 26, 2018 November 1, 2018
Oklahoma City Museum of Art Oklahoma City OK October 26, 2018 October 28, 2018
Tallahassee Film Society Tallahassee FL October 26, 2018 October 28, 2018
Taos Center for the Arts Taos NM October 28, 2018 October 31, 2018
International Film Series Boulder CO October 30, 2018 October 30, 2018
Indie Memphis Memphis TN November 1, 2018 November 5, 2018
St. Louis International Film Festival St. Louis MO November 1, 2018 November 11, 2018
Princeton Garden Theater Princeton NJ November 1, 2018 November 1, 2018
Virginia Film Festival Charlottesville VA November 1, 2018 November 4, 2018
Rehoboth Beach Film Festival Rehoboth Beach DE November 1, 2018 November 11, 2018
Indie Memphis Memphis TN November 1, 2018 November 5, 2018
Fresno Film Festival Fresno CA November 2, 2018 November 4, 2018
Normal Theater Normal IL November 2, 2018 November 4, 2018
Scottsdale Int'l Film Festival Scottsdale AZ November 2, 2018 November 11, 2018
Nitehawk Cinema Brooklyn NY November 3, 2018 November 4, 2018
American Cinematheque - Aero Theatre Santa Monica CA November 4, 2018 November 4, 2018
Cinema Detroit Harper Woods MI November 5, 2018 November 5, 2018
Alamo Drafthouse Mueller Austin TX November 10, 2018 November 10, 2018
George Eastman House Rochester NY November 16, 2018 November 17, 2018
Indiana University Cinema Bloomington IN November 16, 2018 November 18, 2018
Honolulu Museum of Art Honolulu HI November 23, 2018 November 27, 2018
Alamo Drafthouse - Lubbock Lubbock TX December 12, 2018 December 12, 2018
Filmbar Phoenix AZ January 16, 2019 January 16, 2019
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