I’m not a witch

Runjano Nyoni (Zambia, 1982) is the direction of the film and the screenplay of the film I’m not a witch (UK, 2017), his first feature film, for which he won the BAFTA Award for Best Debut Director and Best Screenwriter, as well as Best Film and Best Director at the British Independent Film Awards 2017. Born in the Zambian capital at the age of nine, he immigrated to Wales. Graduated from University of the Arts London. He devoted himself to acting and cinema.

In the story that Shula (Maggie Moloboa) tells us, she was nine years old and an orphan. The girl is considered responsible for the permanent drought in the region. Without any evidence, he is accused of witchcraft. He was brought to trial. You are at a disadvantage. She has no way of defending herself against the accusation that was fabricated against her. She is doomed and has to choose between confessing a witch or becoming a goat. She chose the first and was sent into exile to a closed camp with other witches.

Here all the women are adults and she is the only girl. It is a “rehabilitation” camp for magicians who work as farm workers or are exposed to the curiosity of tourists. that they Collaboration ‘with the civilian government on the orders of an abusive official, Mr. Panda (Henry BJ Phiri). They live like slaves tied with ribbons, so they don’t ‘fly’. For charity (Nancy Morello)), talking witch, Panda’s wife, “obey everything and marry” is a bargaining chip to get out of the concentration camps. Nioni, while filming the movie, visited a witch camp in Ghana.

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The official finds a gold mine in Shola. It is dedicated to its exploitation. He takes her to TV and whoever meets her asks her about her life as a witch. He has the function of enslaving and ruling society. Among other things, he investigates crimes that occur between female prisoners and exercises “justice” through Shula’s “powers” who are not fully aware of what is happening.

In this film, Nioni portrays the contemporary phenomenon of girls accused of witchcraft in sub-Saharan Africa. It is an indictment of the exploitation to which they are subjected and all women in their situation. The director chose to confront the story of a girl as a symbol of the continuation of the practices of abuse, exploitation and slavery towards women in general and in particular those that are not “normal” since childhood.

Professional critics argue that it is impossible to classify the film by this Zambia-born director. There is a vision that transcends ideology and politics as well as the anthropological narrative. The film has different overtones and approaches the story from different angles. On one side is the aesthetic where the beauty of the landscape and the colors of nature stand out. Criticism and sarcasm are present. outright irony. Feelings and emotions occur. Never fall for the stranger.

I’m not a witch

Original title: I’m not a witch

Production: UK – France – Germany, 2017

Directed by: Rogano Nyoni

Screenplay: Rogano Nyoni

Photography: David Gallego

Music: Matt Kelly

Casting: Maggie Muluboa, Gloria Hoyler, Chilichi Calimoquinto, Henry B. J. Ferry, Dina Movoney (…)

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