(This is just my stupid but valid two cents)
82 minutes, felt like a mere 25 minutes.
The film got so close to the Oscars. It sucks that it didn’t, but still, great achievement guys!! Hats off!
I am still contemplating on the Film, I feel I have a long way to go, but I will try say what I feel about it so far.
Fuck the colonial laws that criminalize LGBTIQ community in our country. But, that’s not my point today. Maybe another day? Am actually not so good at these politics. I have friends who can debate on this for hours. Obi, are you there? I will let them do their job.
First of all, The two lead casts were first time actors, and they did a splendid job. Bravo!
Straight to the movie.
I found RAFIKI a coming-of-age film, but one that achieves an unusual emotional immediacy
To me, the film is actually the black mirror of our society right now on same sex relationships.
One would say it’s a typical love story. It actually was a very very traditional love story, nothing fancy.
But again, I personally don’t think the movie was about a love story, well what I mean is , that wasn’t the key subject here. We have watched so many of these love stories already.
I acknowledge greatly that I totally relate to the film, mainly because we are used to being shown how our society show no mercy to gay folks and trans people, more than any other differently identifying persons in the community. Normally, they just show us that only gay people get to be physically ambushed, beaten up, mocked on the streets, raped among other inhuman things, and on the other side lesbians and other feminine representing folks kind of ‘get away ‘ with this. That’s totally not the case. I was happy that people got to know that this happens to the entire spectrum. Doesn’t matter how you express yourself, be it very masculine, or very feminine, or in the middle, or both masculine or feminine, all identities face the same wrath from the unaccommodating community. It doesn’t matter what gender identity you represent, be it gender non-conforming, none-gender, woman, man, transwoman, transman, neutrois, all demi’s, intersex…name them all, they all get to face the wrath.
However, I didn’t feel Ziki’ and Kena’s sexual chemistry and energies, we just had a few very short shots of kisses and snippets of moaning, so uuum, that’s okay too. I just don’t know what I expected, I could be a little pervert. The long stares were intense though, I die for these. I could see my seatmate in the theater caught up in the moment. It felt like sanitized intimacy, which was good, We all get to fill in the gaps and imagine anything I want to. They say ‘leave little for the imagination’, yeah? I had the perfect pictures in mind. Reminds me of my very few floppy sexual encounters in the past, they still haunt me !!
Let’s talk about family. I felt like Ziki’s mom was very educated and informed on the subject matter, and maybe that’s why she wasn’t too hard on the two lovers. However, even though she understood what was happening, I felt she didn’t feel she had any choice (of course everyone has a choice) to let her daughter sway that way, mostly because the community wouldn’t allow her to. She felt the need to protect her daughter. I feel If they were in a different environment, where same sex relationships are legal, she would her showered Ziki her blessings. She opted to send her daughter far away, which also means, she is free to do and be whoever she wants, but just not here in Kenya. She just doesn’t want her daughter to be hurt on her watch.
On the other hand, Kena’s mom got her exorcised (haha, am just being dramatic she was just prayed for surrounded by a bunch of holier than though folks, I can relate), and even after that, she was totally done with her. Kena’s dad however still loved her daughter unconditionally, even though he was losing a lot as a result of the hostile events that happened, and if he wanted he could easily blame it on Kena. It was so good to see him not blame her for these loses. It wasn’t Kena’s fault, It was the ignorant and self-righteous societie’s fault. Kena’s dad has his flaws, but he is a good man. This dude is cute too, woah! Anjili confessed and seconded me on this.
Kena’s buddy Blackstar, very homophobic guy. I could feel how he was torn with the fact Kena is attracted to Ziki. I could see his struggle to accommodate and be a friend to her and still stick to his ‘beliefs’ on the matter. Honestly, I didn’t understand how the relationship between the two ended. I got lost. This relationship reminds us how LGBTIQ folks loose some friends when they come out, willingly or unwillingly, and also could gain new ones (When Kena silently sat with the gay guy, it was like they were resonating with each other’s pain).
Couldn’t help notice that the entire cast didn’t try any American or the cliché’ deep African accent, they were just being Kenyans. It was refreshing.
The sound tracks!!!!! Wooooah!!!!!! Just Splendind!!
PS: Am still getting my head over this, maybe more to come, or not.
Love and Light, Stay Zen!!