NAIROBI – The Kenyan director of a movie banned in her home country for telling the love story of two women has filed a lawsuit seeking to lift the bar so it can be considered for the country’s Oscars entry, court documents show.

“Rafiki”, which means friend in the Swahili language, premiered at the Cannes film festival, the first Kenyan film to do so. It is adapted from an award-winning short story “Jambula Tree” by Ugandan writer Monica Arac de Nyeko.

To be eligible as Kenya’s entry under the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2019 Academy Awards, it must have been released in Kenya. However, the East African country banned it in April on the grounds that it promotes lesbianism.. The deadline for a release in Kenya is Sept. 30.


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