Dismay as High Court upholds ban on Lesbian love film 'Rafiki' - The Sauce
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Dismay as High Court upholds ban on Lesbian love film ‘Rafiki’

Renowned Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu known for the Oscar submitted film ‘Rafiki’ was dealt a huge blow on Wednesday (29.04.20).

This is after the high court upheld the decision by Ezekiel Mutua’s Kenya Film and Classification Board (KFCB)to ban the 2018 film for promoting homosexuality.

According to a Capital FM court reporter, Justice James Makau has in a verdict delivered today declared that sections under Kenya Films Stage Act relied on when making the decision do not offend the Constitution.

Pointing out that the right to freedom is not absolute, justice Makau has ruled that ban on Rafiki film did not violate artistic freedom of expression but instead protected the society from moral decay.

” I find that the petitioner has failed to prove the case which is without merit. Further, I hold that the jurisdiction of this court was prematurely invoked,” ruled justice Makau.

It was Kahiu’s argument that Kfcb’s move was in violation of Freedom of expression and artistic which is guaranteed under the Constitution.

Under the Creative Economic Working Group , Kahiu says she will appeal .

The film, Rafiki (friend) which tells the story of a romance that blossoms between two young women. They encourage one another to pursue their wildest dreams in their conservative society amid family and political pressure.

The film had its international premiere in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival it was the first Kenyan film to be screened at the festival.

Kahiu sued Kenya’s government, to allow the film to be screened and become eligible to be submitted as Kenya’s entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.

On 21 September 2018, the Kenyan High Court lifted the ban on the film, allowing it to be screened in the country for seven days, therefore meeting the eligibility requirements. After the ban was lifted, the film was shown to a sold-out crowd at a cinema in Nairobi. Despite the ban being lifted, it was not selected as Kenya’s submission in the Foreign Language Film category, with ‘Supa Modo’ being picked instead.

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