Film Screening: Rafiki + How To Raise A Black Boy

Join us for a screening of Rafiki by Wanuri Kahiu, preceded by the short film How To Raise A Black Boy by Justice Jamal Jones.

Dir: Wanuri Kahiu
83 mins

“Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives,” but Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.

In 2008, Wanuri Kahiu completed her first feature film From A Whisper based on the real-life events surrounding the twin bombings of US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar esSalaam in 1998. The film won awards at the Africa Movie Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture, the Golden Dhow award at Zanzibar International Film Festival and Best Film at Kalasha, Kenya Film and TV awards. In 2009, she completed For Our Land, a documentary about the life of Nobel peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai for M-Net ‘Great Africans’ Series. Her short Science Fiction Film Pumzi (2009), partially funded by Focus Features, Goethe Institut and Changa Moto Fund in Kenya, was selected at Sundance in 2010. Pumzi won Best Short at Cannes Independent Film Festival and took Silver at Carthage Film Festival in 2010. Wanuri is currently in post porduction on a feature length documentary “GER” (To Be Separate) and in pre-production on “Rusties” a near future science fiction film set in Nairobi.

How To Raise A Black Boy
Dir: Justice Jamal Jones
18 mins

An experimental fairytale dedicated to the modern black boy, in which four boys disappear one night, as many black boys do, and find themselves on a fantastical journey to break the curses of black boyhood.

Justice Jamal Jones (she/he/they) is a filmmaker, actor, and writer based in New York City. As a Black Queer Alchemist, they integrate Black Feminist Queer theory alongside Black diasporic Spirituality, such as Vodou (Voodoo), into their work. Their debut film How To Raise a Black Boy, was a reimagining of Jones’ childhood linking their boyhood to their identity as a non-binary artist. The film was internationally recognized at over 30 film festivals, earning 10 awards. Justice was also a 2021 Sundance Ignite Fellow, and in 2022 was a commissioned director for MTV and Calvin Klein. Jones was also a guest on Good Morning America’s Hulu special A Conversation Between Black Men, where Jones was an advocate for Black Trans and Non-binary individuals. In 2023 Jones’ sophomore film “Crossroads Blues” is set for pre-production, alongside the release of A Pill for Promiscuity, an anthology to which Jones contributed, exploring queer sex in the age of pharmaceuticals. Jones enjoys dinner parties with friends, the occasional glass of green Chartreuse, and playing with their kitty Esu.

Image: Wanuri Kahiu, Rafiki, 2018, video still.