About Rafiki & Pumzi

Kena and Ziki live very different lives in Nairobi. Kena works in her father's shop and awaits the start of nursing school, while Ziki passes the days hanging out with her friends and making up dance routines. Their paths cross when their fathers run against each other for seats in the County Assembly, and they find themselves drawn to each other. Soon their interest grows to affection and the girls find ways to love each other despite the ever-watching gaze of the  neighborhood. [83 min; drama, romance; English]

Also written and directed by Wanuri Kahiu, Pumzi is an Afrofuturist vision of everyday life 35 years after World War III, the water war. [21 min; sci-fi; English]

This screening will feature an introduction by Beti Ellerson (Centre for the Study of Research of African Women in Cinema) and a Q&A with Dr. Ellerson and Prof. Michael T. Martin (The Media School, Black Camera).

Beti Ellerson is the founder and director of the Centre for the Study of Research of African Women in Cinema. She is the author of Sisters of the Screen: Women of African on Film, Video, and Television and director of a documentary based on her book.

"For its formal simplicity and directness, Rafiki is a small revelation, not least because it marks the breakthrough of a filmmaker of such exhilarating, cheerfully courageous vision." — Anna Hornaday, Washington Post

"To merely describe what happens in Rafiki would be to overlook its transporting sense of place, its striking visual  pleasures and its credible and moving performances." — Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

"It thrives thanks to its wondrous cinematography, solid acting, and sense of optimism in the face of hatred." — Matthew  St. Clair, Cinema Sentries

Any film screened at IU Cinema may contain content that viewers find sensitive or upsetting. Visit our Audience Advisories page to learn more.

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