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Directed by Rungano Nyoni
93 min | 2017 | Zambia | Not Rated
presented in English and Nyanja with English subtitles.
Cast: Maggie Mulubwa, Mrs. Chishimba, & Henry B.J. Phiri
Zambian-born Welsh director Rungano Nyoni is set to make her mark on British cinema with her groundbreaking first feature I Am Not a Witch. Sharply satirical and boldly provocative, the film garnered incredible praise from audiences and critics alike at the Cannes 2017 Directors’ Fortnight.
When eight-year-old Shula turns up alone and unannounced in a rural Zambian village, the locals are suspicious. A minor incident escalates to a full-blown witch trial, where she is found guilty and sentenced to life on a state-run witch camp. There, she is tethered to a long white ribbon and told that if she ever tries to run away, she will be transformed into a goat. As the days pass, Shula begins to settle into her new community, but a threat looms on the horizon. Soon she is forced to make a difficult decision – whether to resign herself to life on the camp, or take a risk for freedom.
At times moving, often funny and occasionally surreal, I Am Not a Witch offers spellbinding storytelling with flashes of anarchic humour. Audacious and unforgettable, it showcases Rungano Nyoni as a fresh and fearless new voice in British film.
Winner: Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer–2018 BAFTA