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Parents' Guide to


By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Queer coming-of-age Kenyan drama; some violence, language.

Movie NR 2019 83 minutes
Rafiki Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+
Incredibly moving, imported, and beautiful movie, however the violence was very intense. Hate crimes and the terror of mob behavior fueled by homophobia was terribly upsetting. If you have religious trauma, it also could be very triggering

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This moving drama made quite an impact on release, in no small part due to its being banned in its home country of Kenya for "its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism." When Rafiki was finally screened in Kenya -- for just seven days -- it played to sold-out audiences, and found similar success traveling the festival circuit, where the strong central performances and beautiful direction and cinematography were universally praised.

The story itself is not unusual: it's coming-of-age, it's first love, it's exploring sexual identity in a forbidden environment, it's star-crossed lovers and warring families. Yet the film is blissfully unique in its sense of place and atmosphere of floating just outside of reality. Bustling streets, music and dance, and vivid colors -- particularly the rich pinks and purples displayed in free-spirited Ziki's braided hair -- create a candy-colored escape amid the confinements of religion and tradition. Above all the movie is a celebration of the rebellion against the everyday, against what is expected, against becoming the "ordinary Kenyan girls" the main characters pledge never to be.

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