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Zambian-set tragicomedy of superstition and exploitation

19 October, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

Maggie Mulubwa in I Am Not A Witch

Directed by Rungano Nyoni
Certificate: 12a

This Zambian-set film is both a comedy and a take on gender politics and superstition.

Shula (Maggie Mulubwa) is an eight-year-old who has been accused of having magic powers and is forced to leave her home village and join a group of others with apparently similar skill sets.

But being a witch – when, of course, you are not – brings contradictions. Both feared but also used as a tool by the local bureaucracy to further their own ends, poor Shula is seen as a commodity, which civil servant Mr Banda (Henry BJ Phiri) wants to make the most of.

Billed a comedy and tragedy, I Am Not A Witch asks questions about exploitation.


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