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"I Am Not A Witch" by Rungano Nyoni

BAFTA

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#1 IslandBruja

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 08:12 AM

This film just won a BAFTA and I'm wondering if anyone here has seen it yet? It's classified as magical realism (my favorite genre) and sounds like something I really want to see - here's the synopsis:

 

"Following a banal incident in her local village, 8-year old girl Shula is accused of witchcraft. After a short trial she is found guilty, taken into state custody and exiled to a witch camp in the middle of a desert."

 

 

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#2 Khundekling

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 11:47 AM

I've not seen it but have just added it to my movie rental list, should have it by the end of the week. Thanks for this  :D 


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life is better with a biscuit


#3 citoyenne

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 04:24 AM

I just watched this last night.

It was more about how the outcast are accused of witchcraft and instead of being burnt they become government "property" to do manual labour or otherwise taken advantage of to line the pockets of corrupt officials.

One of the things, a side plot, that disturbed me is the ex-witch; I don't think she is even given a name. The government official married her and the way he treats her is appalling, she tells the little girl Shula, that as long as you do everything you are told exactly how you are told without saying anything back means that you can become a respectable woman, a wife... The abuse is never really seen but is evident.

An obnoxiously true character is a tourist who is visiting the witch camp (one of the ways money is made off these women) who sees a crying child hiding thinks that the way to console her is to offer to take pictures together. Ugh.

There is an inept witch doctor who takes off all his clothes to prove he is real; there is the impossible to past test to prove you are not a witch; there's some fruit throwing; the girl is given an impossible choice. The ending leaves you with so many questions.

 

It was a very good movie but rather than magical or fairytale, it is just a sad portrait of abuse of power, abuse of women and abuse of justice. There are moments where magic might play a role in the film, the rain and the goats at the end (no spoilers) but it is mostly about people being generally awful.


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#4 IslandBruja

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 01:55 AM

Thanks for letting us know, citoyenne. Definitely something I'll still want to see, but sadly for very different reasons...


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#5 Solanaceae

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 04:17 PM

I just watched this today and I agree completely with Citoyenne. I certainly did not see much that I would call 'whimsical'  about this film since the underlying story is so real and so disturbing.

It was beautifully shot and the little girl, Maggie Mulubwa gives a charming performance.

Worth a watch for sure.


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Some are born to sweet delight,

Some are born to endless night.

 

(Fragments from "Auguries of Innocence") William Blake


#6 citoyenne

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 06:36 AM

Sol you are right, the artistic direction and the acting was spot on. It certainly had the feeling of art rather than the movies-for-profit-expression-be-damned feel you get from Hollywood movies.

It is definitely definitely worth a watch. But don't go in thinking that it will be one of those fun romps that allows you to unwind.

 

Watch the Love Witch if that's what you're looking for, another great suggestion from the board.

 

Edit: incidentally a related documentary: Tanzania's Witch Trials from Unreported World

(would this get more attention as its own thread?)


Edited by citoyenne, 23 March 2018 - 06:40 AM.

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