The film is directed and screenplayed by Rungano Nyoni (Zambia, 1982). i’m not a witch (United Kingdom, 2017), his first feature film, with which he won the BAFTA Awards for Best Director Debut and Best Screenwriter, as well as Best Film and Best Director at the British Independent Film Awards 2017. He was born in the capital of Zambia. He moved to Wales at the age of nine. He is a graduate of London University of Arts. He has dedicated himself to acting and cinema.
In the story that Shula (Maggie Mulubwa) tells us, she is nine years old and an orphan. The girl is believed to be responsible for the persistent drought in the region. He is accused of practicing witchcraft without any evidence. He is brought to trial. You are at a complete loss. He has no way of defending himself against the charges framed against him. He is sentenced and must choose between confessing as a witch or becoming a goat. She opposes the former and is sent into exile in a lockdown camp along with the other witches.
All the women here are adults and she is the only girl. It is a “rehabilitation” camp for witches who work as agricultural workers or are subject to the curiosity of tourists. they ,Cooperate with the civilian government under the orders of an abusive officer, Mr. Banda (Henry BJ Phiri). They live like slaves tied with ribbons, so they don’t “fly”. For Charity (Nancy Murillo), conversation witch, Banda’s wife, “believes everything and gets married” is the bargaining chip to get out of the prison camps. Nyoni visited a witch camp in Ghana for the film.
The officer finds a gold mine in Shula. He is dedicated to exploiting it. He takes her to television and everyone who interviews her asks her about her life as a witch. He has the task of enslaving and ruling the community. Among other things, he investigates crimes among imprisoned women and “justices” them through the “powers” of Shula, who is not fully aware of what is happening.
With this film Nyoni portrays the contemporary phenomenon of girls accused of witchcraft in sub-Saharan African countries. It is a condemnation of the exploitation that they and all women who are in their position experience. The director chooses to confront the story with a girl as a symbol of the permanence of the practices of abuse, exploitation and slavery towards women in general and those in particular who are not “normal” since childhood.
Typical critics argue that it is impossible to pigeonhole a film by this Zambian-born director. There is a vision that goes beyond ideology, politics and anthropological fiction. The film has different tones and the story is viewed from different angles. On one side is the beauty where the beauty of the landscape and the colors of nature stand out. Irony and scathing criticism are present. Frank joke. Feelings and feelings happen. It never falls in foreign.
i’m not a witch
original title: I am not a witch
Production: UK-France-Germany, 2017
Address: Rugano Nyoni
Gion: Bird of Paradise
Photography: David Gallego
Music: Matt Kelly
Starring: Maggie Mulubwa, Gloria Huviler, Chileche Kalimamuquento, Henry BJ Firi, Diana Mufuni