Rafiki is a 2018 Kenya / South Africa drama by Wanuri Kahiu.
Starring Patricia Amira, Muthoni Gathecha and Jimmy Gathu.
Banned by the Kenya Film Classification Board in April 2018. The KFCB claimed the film seeks to legitimize lesbian romance.
Rafiki, which means friend in Swahili, is adapted from the 2007 Caine Prize-winning short story, Jambula Tree, by Ugandan writer Monica Arac Nyeko. It follows two close friends, Kena and Ziki, who eventually fall in love despite their
families being on opposing sides of the political divide.
Wanuri Kahiu, the director of the banned film Rafiki is Suing Kenya's film censors to unblock the way for the film to qualify as contender for the Oscars. The suit demands that the local ban be lifted in time for her to submit the film to
be considered for an Oscar. It's also pushing to change the law that has been used to ban popular films like The Wolf of Wall Street.
For Rafiki to be eligible for a Best Foreign Language award, it needs to be shown in Kenya before September 30, The Hollywood Reporter adds . If the selection committee is given permission to screen the film to submit it to the Academy, Rafiki
could be the first Kenyan film to be nominated in that category
Wanuri Kahiu's Rafiki has received its due praise on the film festival circuit since her film was selected to make its world premiere at Cannes earlier this year-- making it the first Kenyan feature film to do so. However, the Kenya Film
Classification Board banned the film, claiming that it seeks to legitimize lesbian romance.
Update: Make love not war, court organises a 7 day truce
A Kenyan judge has lifted a ban on a film about a lesbian relationship - for a week. Judge Wilfrida Okwany decided to allow the screening of the film for seven days so that it could be submitted for the Oscars.
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.
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.
But the head of the Kenya Film Classification Board, Ezekiel Mutua, was unhappy about the decision, claiming homosexuality is not our way of life.
The film's director Wanuri Kahiu, who appealed against the ban, was overjoyed with the latest decision.
The film's Twitter account announced that it will hold screenings in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi
24th September 2018. See article
Rafiki, temporarily reprieved from being banned showed on Sunday to a cheering full house audience in Nairobi. The cinema showed on an additional screen after more than 450 people arrived.
Nairobi residents will be able to watch Rafiki during daytime-only screenings at the Prestige Cinema in the capital for a week
Ten LGBT-themed children's books have been banished to the closed sections of Hong Kong's public libraries after heavy campaigning by an anti-gay rights group.
For months, the Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group complained to the Home Affairs Bureau about books that promote gay and transgender awareness.
In a Facebook post on 17 June, the group shared an email from the Bureau confirming 10 books would be removed from library shelves after consideration by the Collection Development Meeting that is made up of library professionals.
Library users must now ask staff to see the books. The email says the Collection Development Meeting decided seven of the 10 books were neutral and do not promote homosexuality or same-sex marriage. Yet they were still moved to the closed shelves
so parents can decide what their children read.
The Hungarian National Opera in Budapest has cancelled 15 performances of the musical Billy Elliot , blaming negative campaigning by the local media.
Daily newspaper Magyor Idok ran a series of stories claiming that the show could transform Hungarian boys into homosexuals, and another article said it promoted a deviant way of life.
Szilveszter Okovacs, director of the Hungary National Opera, told Hungarian site 444.hu: As you know, the negative campaign in recent weeks against the Billy Elliot production led to a big drop in ticket sales and for this reason we are
cancelling 15 performances in line with the decision of our management.
The show will still play 24 other dates in the city, including one that is sold out.
Update: Billy Elliot gay propaganda row exposes purge in Hungary
The attack on the head of the Hungarian State Opera was both crude and unexpected. And it came from the mouthpiece of the ruling Fidesz party, Magyar Idok.
Children who watched the opera's performance of the musical Billy Elliot were in danger of becoming homosexual, wrote Zsofia N Horvath in her opinion piece.Even the red stars used in the performance, in Budapest's cavernous Erkel theatre, were
attacked in the show as banned symbols.
But another mystery entirely is that there is no known journalist called Zsofia N Horvath. The article fits into a new cultural offensive against the last liberals in a film, theatre and publishing world that is already dominated by Fidesz
Since December the same publication, Magyar Idok, has featured a string of articles with targets including the head of the distinguished Petofi literary museum in Budapest, Gergely Pröhle. Jozsef Palinkas, the head of the National Research,
Development and Innovation Office and a one-time Orban education minister, has been sacked.
All areas of cultural life should be purged of those who allow space for liberal, globalist, and cosmopolitan ideas, the writers suggest, including state News Agency MTI, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and even Petofi radio, a public service
Inxeba (The Wound) is a 2017 South Africa / Germany / Netherlands / France romance by John Trengove.
Starring Nakhane Touré, Bongile Mantsai and Niza Jay.
Xolani, a lonely factory worker, travels to the rural mountains with the men of his community to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best-kept secret, Xolani's entire existence
begins to unravel.
Inxeba (The Wound) is a film centred around an African custom of adulthood initiation via a circumcision ritual. It contains two simulated sex scenes and has a gay storyline.
South African film censors at Film and Publication Board (FPB} originally awarded a straightforward 16 LS rating for language and sex.
The gay theme wound up local conservatives of the Gauteng branch of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa) and cultural organisation the Man and Boy Foundation and an appeal against the rating was lodged.
The result of the appeal was that the rating was upgraded to an X18 rating which is generally reserved for explicit hardcore pornography. Similarly to the UK, the movie can then only be screened at licensed porn cinemas, and it is effectively
banned from mainstream cinemas.
Clearly the producers of Inxeba are not well pleased and along with leading South African film industry players say the fight over the movie being reclassified as pornographic by the FPB is far from over. They have vowed to take the matter
to court. They accuse the FPB of censorship, homophobia and of not following its own governing act or classification guidelines by overturning the controversial, award-winning gay Xhosa initiation movie's original 16 LS ratin.
Inxeba (The Wound) has been unbanned by a Pretoria High Court Order and will be back on mainstream cinema screens again from Friday, March 9.
This is the result of a High Court order granted on Tuesday, in the urgent application brought by Webber Wentzel on behalf of the film's producers and distributor to reverse the X18 rating and enables the film to return to the public domain and
be relieved of its imprisonment in sex shops, branded as pornography.
While this outcome has provided momentary relief to the film as it can be screened in mainstream cinema with the rating of 18, the lifting of the ban is, however, only temporary, pending the outcome of review proceedings before the court, which
will be heard on March 28.
Klubb Naket, a daring new nightclub which encourages its customers to get naked opened up its doors in Stockholm this weekend. While organizers described it as a great success, the neighbouring church claimed it was a breeding ground for broken
Hundreds of people attended the opening night at the venue on the capital's hipster island Södermalm.
The club plays electronic music and targets mainly a fetish and queer audience, and those that undress get free entry.
The club also offers what it describes as hinges, dark corners where clubbers can do what you feel right now and then.
But not everyone is as happy about the club's opening, miserable gits at the local church want to shut Club Naked down. Pastor Lennart Torebring at Södermalmskyrkan whinged:
Many of our youth members come from the suburbs and have been subject to prostitution and abuse, and so they have reacted very strongly. We believe in sexual purity and that sexuality needs to be protected through marriage. But aside from that,
we also have to consider that we can't just do whatever we like. What happens on Södermalm now can have serious consequences, the club becomes a breeding ground for depression and broken souls.
120 Beats Per Minute (120 battements par minute) is a 2017 France drama by Robin Campillo.
Starring Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois and Adèle Haenel.
Early 1990s. With AIDS having already claimed countless lives for nearly ten years, Act up-Paris activists multiply actions to fight general indifference. Nathan, a newcomer to the group, has his world shaken up by Sean, a radical militant, who
throws his last bits of strength into the struggle.
Soldiers: A Story from Ferentari (Soldatii. Poveste din Ferentari) is a 2017 Romania / Serbia / Belgium drama by Ivana Mladenovic.
Starring Dan Bursuc, Sorin Cocis and Cezar Grumazescu.
Adi, a shy and introverted anthropologist, who got recently dumped by his girlfriend, moves to Ferentari, the poorest and most notorious neighborhood of Bucharest. He wants to write a study on manele music, the 'pop music' of the Roma community.
Adi meets Alberto, a Roma ex-convict and a bear of a man, who promises Adi to help him. Soon enough, the unlikely pair begins a playful romance in which Adi feeds Alberto with improbable plans of escaping poverty, while Alberto feeds Adi with
phrases of love.
Religious protesters in Romania have disrupted the screenings of two movies featuring gay themes, saying they violate traditional values.
In response, a new screening of the Cannes award-winning movie 120 Beats Per Minute is going to be held Tuesday in Bucharest.
The dispute illustrates Romania's divided views about homosexuality, which remains a difficult topic in a state where more than 85% of its people belong to Christian Orthodox churches. Homosexuality was only decriminalized when Romania prepared
to join the EU in 2002.
Protesters calling themselves Christian Orthodox burst into a movie theatre on Feb. 4 during a screening of 120 Beats Per Minute. Protesters objected to the film being shown at the Romanian Peasant Museum because the Romanian peasant is a
Christian Orthodox. They sang the national anthem and religious songs while others held religious icons and banners saying: Romania isn't Sodom and Hey Soros, leave them kids alone , referring to Hungarian-American philanthropist George
Days later, protesters disrupted another movie featuring a relationship with a Romanian man and an ex-convict from the nation's Roma, or Gypsy, minority titled Soldiers: A Story from Ferentari. Protesters played Gypsy rock music to drown
out the movie. Police were called in to break up the protest.
Filmmaker Cristian Mungiu, the distributor of 120 Beats Per Minute in Romania, has urged the culture minister and Bucharest mayor to publicly support the movie but so far they have remained silent. It will be re-screened Tuesday at the same
A row has broken out over the screening of a film that advocates therapy to cure people from being gay.
Christian group Core Issues Trust had hired a screen at Vue Piccadilly, London, to show the film Voices of the Silenced on Thursday. The documentary tells the stories of 15 people emerging out of homosexual lifestyles and aims to preserve
and promote teachings on sexual ethics.
But Vue cancelled the booking after the event drew criticism. A spokeswoman for the cinema said:
While it is not our intention to censor content, ...[BUT]... in some instances, where we feel an activity is in direct contradiction to Vue's values, a decision will be made to refrain from allowing a private event to go ahead.
Core Issues Trust is now seeking advice from lawyers, and told the BBC it had 126 people attending the event from across the UK and other countries, including the Netherlands. Mike Davidson, who leads Core Issues Trust, told the BBC the film was
not about a gay cure but the rights of individuals to access help and support for unwanted homosexual feelings.
A spokesperson for campaign group Stonewall said:
It's disappointing that Vue Piccadilly would consider screening a documentary about so-called 'conversion therapy'. LGBT people aren't ill. Being gay, lesbian, bi or trans is not something that should be 'cured' or changed.
Update: Also banned by the Queen's Film Theatre, Belfast
The leader of a Christian organisation who says that gay people can choose not to live out homosexuality has accused Queen's Film Theatre (QFT) of censorship after it refused to screen a film about people emerging from gay lifestyles.
Mike Davidson is the head of the Core Issues Trust in Ballynahinch, Co Down. He said his group was refused permission to host a private, invitation-only screening of the film Voices Of The Silenced at the QFT in Belfast. He explained:
I initially made an inquiry to QFT in February and they came back to me and said the programme had already went to print and they had nothing available in March.
When I asked about April, I got an email saying my request was denied and quoting Queen's University's equality agenda.
Indonesia's religious extremists are on a roll at the moment and seem set on criminalising all sex outside of marriage.
Revisions to Indonesia's criminal code currently being considered by Parliament would allow prison sentences of up to five years for sex between unmarried people, including of course, all gay sex as gay marriage is simply out of the question.
Rights groups note that this will be a profound setback to human rights and privacy in Indonesia. Religious vigilantism is already rife in the country, and with the force of law behind them, it will be a nightmare.
Opposition seems somewhat muted with a newly launched online petition receiving a rather paltry 20,000 signatures out of a country of 250 million.
Asrul Sani, a lawmaker from the Islamic-based United Development Party, has told reporters that a 25-member parliamentary working committee has agreed on nearly all the articles in the revised code. It and another Islamic party are seeking longer
prison sentences for gay sex in circumstances that involve force, public acts or pornography and that is still being argued.
Indonesia's constitution nominally guarantees human rights, but this clearly doesn't count for much given the latest parliamentary moves.
Gay dating apps have been pulled from the Google Play Store in Indonesia amid a government crackdown on the LGBT community.
China-based app Blued, which is the largest hook-up app for the LGBT community across Asia and rivals Grindr globally, was pulled from the store as the government demanded Google censor a total of 73 LGBT-related applications. The government
claimed that the app were removed due to claims of negative content and pornographic content.
Communications ministry spokescensor Noor Iza told AFP:
There was some negative content related to pornography inside the application. Probably one or some members of the application put the pornographic content inside.
I don't know [whether the ministry has sent a similar request to Apple]. They should since there are two operating systems.
Meanwhile lawmakers are trying to pass legislation which would outlaw LGBT behaviours on television -- potentially censoring shows that include LGBT characters as well as news reports on the LGBT community.
It is technically legal to be gay in Indonesia apart from Aceh province, which implements extreme punishments under Shariah law.
Religious moralist campaigners at One Million Moms are whingeing about a book publisher that supports gay parenting. They write:
Everyone is familiar with Scholastic Inc. Their book fairs are popular fundraisers at your child's school. However, Scholastic is not safe for your child and parents should be warned.
Scholastic Inc., the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, is using its platform to promote pro-homosexual and pro-transgender books for children.
The corporation, for example, published a pro-transgender book called George for 3rd graders. When people look at George, they think they see a boy, the book reads. But she [George] knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a
According to its website, Scholastic Inc. reaches 6 million children per week with its publications. It features morally toxic reading lists for children, such as:
Books for Two-Mommy Families
Great books for Two-Dad Families
Picture Books About Transgender Children
The American College of Pediatricians warns: Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.
Scholastic does not have our children's best interests at heart. Tell Scholastic to stop harming children.
China's media censor is being taken to court over its view that homosexual activities are abnormal.
Following a crackdown on showing homosexuality in the country's media, a Beijing court has made the unusual move of accepting a legal challenge brought by a member of the public.
In the unlikely event that Fan Chunlin wins his case, China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) would be forced to publicly clarify a regulation banning gay sex.
With China's courts, the media and the SAPPRFT all controlled by the ruling communist party, the chances of Fan winning the case are small. However, Fan's lawyer, Tang Xiangqian, said that he hoped that the legal challenge will raise awareness of
rights for homosexual people in the country.
A decision on the case is expected within six months.