I Am Not a Witch

I Am Not a Witch

Rungano Nyoni (2017)

92min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Following in the rich tradition of Ousmane Sembene's Xala (1974), Welsh debutante Rungano Nyoni exposes the clashes between tradition and progress that impact upon modern-day Zambia. After a woman accuses her of using evil powers to make her spill a bucket of water, an eight-year-old orphan (Maggie Mulubwa) is sent to a witch camp run by an exploitative leader (Henry BJ Phiri). Adopted by the other elderly inmates, she finds herself on a TV chat show promoting the leader's eggs after he claims she can solve crimes and predict rainfall. But behind the droll satire is a sombre denunciation of the superstition, ignorance and prejudice that enables the corrupt elite in so many African countries to intimidate the lower classes and oppress women. Drawing on her observations in a Ghanaian witch camp, Nyoni opts for an elliptical approach that occasionally confuses, but Mulubwa's exceptional impassivity and David Gallego's unsettlingly striking imagery help keep this focused and fascinating.

Summary

Premiere. In a rural Zambian village, Shula, a taciturn, serious-looking pre-teen girl, is accused of witchcraft on the shaky basis that strange things have happened since she turned up out of the blue. But when Shula refuses to confirm or deny whether she's a witch, police officer Josephine contacts government official Mr Banda, who agrees to take care of her. Drama, starring Maggie Mulubwa and Nellie Munamonga.

Cast & Crew

Shula Maggie Mulubwa
Mr Banda Henry B J Phiri
Charity Nancy Murilo
Mama Margaret Sipaneia
Director Rungano Nyoni

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: CurzonAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 20 Oct 2017
Drama