2 lesbian foreign films to watch from Kenya and India
If you’re looking for movies to watch from around the world, you can’t go wrong with these two lesbian foreign films: “Rafiki” from Kenya and “How I Felt When I Saw That Girl” from India.
Aside from the interesting perspectives they give us, these two movies give a glimpse to how LGBTQ members of our community are doing across the world.
Lesbian foreign films: Rafiki
Directed by Wanuri Kahiu, “Rafiki” is a lesbian teen romance that is the first Kenyan film that has been selected for the Cannes Festival.
It’s also banned in Kenya by their film classification board for promoting homosexual theme and lesbianism, which is not surprising as Kenya has no constitutional protections for the LGBTQ people.
In this movie, Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) is a tomboy teen who lives in her small Kenyan home town who wants to become a nurse.
But like any small town that lives on gossip, Kena finds herself in a target hairs when she befriends the flamboyant Ziki (Sheila Munyiya), and their friendship– rafiki means “friend”– becomes more.
While Ziki wants to go open with their relationship, Kena is wary and cautious. Of course, word of their liaison gets out.
Gwilym Mumford writes in The Guardian that “what Kahiu’s film lacks in originality, it makes up for in its depiction of the giddy flush of first love.”
He likewise said that “Rafiki” deals with conventional tropes but said this was probably good strategy: “This is a story that may have been told before, sure, but never in this context before. That alone seems worth celebrating.”
Check out the trailer of the movie here:
Lesbian foreign films: How I Felt When I Saw That Girl
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga or “How I Felt When I Saw That Girl” is Bollywood India’s mainstream attempt to contribute an LGBTQ films– and get it right to begin with.
In this romantic comedy, playwright Sahil (Rajkummar Rao) falls hard for Sweety (Sonam Kapoor), a woman who accidentally goes into a theater where Sahil’s play is being rehearsed.
Of course, complications ensue as Sahil finds out that Sweety is in love with another woman, Kuhu (Regina Cassandra), while trying to hide it from her family.
So what does he do? He comes up with a fashion show that becomes a musical comedy about tolerance of same-sex love. Cue dancing as the couple get a chance to show Sweety’s family that they’re in love.
Directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar, the film puts two lesbians on center stage in socially conservative India (despite that country’s high court dumping a colonial-era ban on homosexuality last September).
The script was written by transgender Gazal Dhaliwal, who said on Twitter: “I started writing this film 26 months back. So, you might say it was two years in the making. But I would say it was several decades in the making.”
This is why this movie is considered groundbreaking in India on a lot of levels: the movie was directed by a woman, had two leading ladies, and was written by a transgender woman.
For more about the film, check out the trailer below (though it’s not in English):