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Past Films

I Am Not a Witch

  • Starring: Benfors 'Wee Do, Boyd Banda, Kalundu Banda
  • Director: Rungano Nyoni
  • Language(s): English, Nyanja
  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 93 min.

I Am Not a Witch is part of our In Translation series of recent foreign language films of note

After a banal accident in her village, Shula, an eight-year-old girl, is accused of witchcraft. After a quick trial, she is found guilty and locked up in a witches’ camp.

"A magic realist fable set in present-day Zambia that has plenty to say about gender and superstition."
- Anna Smith, Time Out
"It's rare and exhilarating that a new filmmaker arrives on the scene so sure of herself and so willing to take bold, counter-intuitive chances."
- Jessica Kiang, Variety
"A fable-like story about a young African girl banished from her village for alleged witchcraft, it blends deadpan humor with light surrealism, vivid visuals and left-field musical choices."
- Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter
"A remarkable, strange and politically potent first film."
- Top Critic Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"Nyoni is clearly confident in her vision and the story she wants to tell, and in her capable hands, the result is spellbinding."
- Katie Rife, AV Club
"Nyoni does an excellent job of keeping an absurd tone while losing none of the gravity of the situation."
- Odie Henderson,
"Nyoni’s handling of tone is astoundingly careful, and because of it, I Am Not a Witch is a truly unique and stirring experience."
- Nick Rocco Scalia, Film Threat
"Mulubwa’s performance gives I Am Not a Witch its furious heart, but Nyoni weaves her spells subtly and has produced a film of intensity, satire and grace."
- John Bleasdale, CineVue
"This daringly satirical parable of magic and misogyny, superstition and social strictures confirms [Nyoni's] promise as a film-maker of fiercely independent vision, with a bright future ahead."
- Mark Kermode, The Observer(UK)
"A startling movie, I Am Not a Witch is many things. It’s a magic realist fable set in present-day Zambia that has plenty to say about gender and superstition. It’s also a satire, a tragedy and a comedy. And, impressively, debut writer-director Rungano Nyoni makes this heady mix work. "
- Anna Smith, Time Out
"Nyoni’s title articulates her uncompromising, feminist stance, and her characterizations of Mr. Banda and the male villagers explain how patriarchy plays out in Zambia, but it is in her sublime direction—lengthy close-ups, clever tableaux and skillful scoring—that the writer-director accomplishes a social critique so cinematic as to defy description. "
- Maria Garcia, Film Journal International