The Kenyan maker of a film about a lesbian romance has gone to court to challenge the constitutionality of its banning in her home country.
Wanuri Kahiu’s film Rafiki could not be shown in Kenya because the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) objected to “its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism”.
Rafiki got its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Kahui says the ban is an infringement on the freedom of speech and will also stop the Oscars Selection Committee in Kenya from putting it forward for the academy award for best foreign-language film.
In a statement, which is also signed by a group representing Kenyans in the arts, she says:
“The unreasonable and unjustifiable censorship of films infringes on our rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the media as enshrined and guaranteed in the constitution of Kenya.
“The unreasonable and unjustifiable censorship of films infringes on our rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the media as enshrined and guaranteed in the constitution of Kenya.”
Kahiu wants the ban to be lifted before the end of the month, which is when the Oscar nominations close.
An initial hearing is scheduled for Friday.
You can hear Kahui speak about her work in this episode of HardTalk.