One of this year's most beloved lesbian films has been banned in its home country for "homosexual themes." As of Friday, the ban on the film Rafiki was temporarily lifted, making it eligible for an Oscar run in the best foreign-language category.
The film is running for seven days, and it's been given an over-18 rating, even though it includes no sex scenes. After its first day, the film has already sold out theaters. A theater in Nairobi had to expand the showings to a second screen, and they expect it to continue to draw big crowds for the remainder of its limited release.
According to a local news source, the film was greeted with enthusiastic applause. Meanwhile, audiences reacted with laughter and booing at the logo for the Kenya Film Classification Board, the organization that originally suppressed the film's release.
Having premiered at Cannes, Rafiki follows two girls who fall in love. They subsequently face discrimination and physical violence from their community. The film's title means "friend" in Swahili.