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Banned at home in Kenya, lesbian romance Rafiki charms Cannes

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Rafiki, a lesbian romance by filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu, has made headlines this past week for being banned in Kenya while winning over audiences—and earning a standing ovation—at Cannes.

The first Kenyan feature film to premiere at the 71-year-old festival, Rafiki is competing in the Un Certain Regard category. Based on the short story “Jambula Tree” by Monica Arac de Nyeko, the Nairobi-based film showcases charismatic newcomers Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva as the star-crossed teens.

The Un Certain Regard winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on Friday, May 18.


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