Kenyan Court lifts ban on controversial movie, Rafiki to allow for Oscar submission
A Kenyan judge has lifted a ban for a week on Rafiki,a film about a lesbian relationship. Judge Wilfrida Okwany decided to allow the screening of the film for seven days so that it could be submitted for the Oscars.
In her ruling on Friday, Ms Okwany gave permission for the film to be shown to “willing adults”.
She said she was “not convinced that Kenya is such a weak society that its moral foundation will be shaken by seeing such a film”.
Kenya’s film classification board had imposed the ban on Rafiki in April for “promoting lesbianism”.
Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya – a legacy of British colonial-era rule in the country.
Rafiki, which means “friend” in Swahili, traces a coming-of-age love story between two young women, who meet and fall in love.
Their romance unfolds against a backdrop of homophobia and intolerance in a country where sex between people of the same gender is outlawed.
The film was the first from Kenya to debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
In order to be submitted to the Academy Awards, the film must have been publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days at a commercial motion picture venue.