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This film was last shown on 1 November 2017
Set in Zambia, I Am Not A Witch revolves around 9-year-old
Shula, as she finds herself accused of witchcraft after being found close to an
incident in her local village. At a trial she is found guilty and is exiled to
a witch camp in the middle of the desert. Presided over by a witch doctor,
Shula is tied to a spool of white ribbon in case she uses her ‘magic’ to fly
away. She is warned that if she tries to cut the ribbon, she will be
transformed into a goat.
Zambian-Welsh director Rungano Nyoni uses satire to focus on
the misogyny inherent to these accusations. Women who are branded ‘witches’ –
unable to escape – are forced to assume this identity to survive, and here we
see Shula subsequently exploited by the locals as some sort of oracle. I Am Not
A Witch is a unique and captivating debut film from Nyoni that uses a carefully
observed blend of deadpan humour and arthouse cinema as a way of exploring
prejudice and corruption.
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