The sun will rain with this door to door service! To round off Pride Month, we cover the 2018 film, Rafiki. Quid Pro Mo brought to you by Thanks for Coming Podcast.

Stats

Released: May 2018
Director: Wanuri Kahiu
Produced By: Steven Markovitz
Writers: Wanuri Kahiu and Jena Cato Bass
Cinematography: Christopher Wessels
Cast: Sheila Munyiva, Samantha Mugatsia, Nini Wacera, Dennis Musyoka

Breakdown and Analysis

  • The thrilling thing about cinema is that you do not have to have lived the exact life of the protagonist to be able to resonate in some sort of way.
  • The use of sound and music was powerful to further demonstrate the growing connection between Kena and Ziki. The quiet and vulnerable moments and their triumphs together.
  • Film can change culture. Arts is culture. What this film has done and will continue to do in the cinematic landscape of Queer cinema is something that cannot be watered down in any aspect.
  • There are so many accolades, including being the first Kenyan film to be screened at Cannes. However it was not put forward for the respective nomination for the Oscars.
  • For the amount of people involved in the making of this film, that is a message alone to the changing landscape in Kenya. As well as traditional and religious sort of attitudes towards the LGBT community.
  • Rather than facts, this film urges us to face how we treat others and who they love.
  • We appreciated the dyanmics between Kena and Ziki. Ziki was an effervescent force and she had this vivacousness for life. Contrastly, Kena is an introverted tomboy snd she is coming to grips of something she has probably known her whole life. But whether it be social, cultural or regligious expectations, she has not fully faced it.
  • Life is fucking hard, and we need to be protectors for our own sense of self and our own happiness. Later on in the film, is when we start to see Ziki’s glimmer start to dull. What made her so vibrant, starts to fade away. And to her own detriment, she started to fall into what she thought she should be. She couldn’t even just be herself. Ziki’s dad is already a congressman and they are in an affluent household. Having this upbringing there was an expectation for her to conform to a certain way of life. When she tried to entwine that with Kena, it became such an ugly force.
  • The movie poster is so positive but KT feels the film was very heavy and sad. Oti counters that the hope this film brings makes it more positive. Kena doesn’t see anything further than being a nurse. She didn’t strive for much more until Ziki came along and encouraged her to dream bigger. It was more seeing the development as characters until we got to the last quarter where it got dark very quickly. It was portraying the attitude towards gay people. The casual insults that are normalised in everyday conversation.
  • There is a male gay character that has very important interactions in this film. Shining a light on the casual hate and abuse is really important. He is still in the community because it is all he has. Even going to church where he is continually persecuted through way of scripture.
  • KT felt for the characters during the heavy, violent scenes but not so for the lighter happy moments. When they had the tender, romantic moments, they didn’t feel earned. If anyone has any sort of semblance of a 2 way love, your experience can be applied here but it would have been nice to have a little bit of their happiness. There were pivotal scenes but we needed to live a bit more in them as characters as opposed to them coming to terms with their sexuality. Because of this, KT found it hard to feel. It was not kiss or intimate screen time, there are love stories where you can still feel the loving, the longing and yearing for love. Perfect example: BBC mini series, Colin Firth.
  • Near the end of the film, we see the shift with Ziki. All that happiness, joyfulness and bubbliness was gone. We were introduced to these characters in a different light. You could see the light dimming, she didn’t shine as brightly. This is where we see a dynamic shift between Kena and Ziki. Each becoming the complete opposite of how they were introduced. The fallout of the violent scene. Kena was a bit more conscious of their culture and the society they are in whilst Ziki had an idealised notion of how their life would be.

Unrelated but vital points

  • This is an objective, unbiased review from Oti.
  • Oti will stay in the room but will close his eyes to give them privacy.

For Your Reference

Oti

From a Whisper (2009) 1h 19min | Drama | 9 October 2010 (USA) Summary: When an intelligence officer and a young, rebellious artist discover that they both lost somebody in the US Embassy bombing 10 years ago, they learn how to confront their fears and forgive.
Countries: KenyaLanguages: English

KT

A Single Man (2009) 1h 39min | Drama, Romance | 5 February 2010 (USA) Summary: An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles.
Countries: USALanguages: English, Spanish
Moonlight (2016) 1h 51min | Drama | 18 November 2016 (USA) Summary: A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.
Countries: USALanguages: English