Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

I Am Not A Witch

2017, Rungano Nyoni, UK/France/Germany, 93 min. With Margaret Mulubwa, Henry B.J. Phiri.

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Show Times

  • Fri, Sep 28th 4:15pm
  • Fri, Sep 28th 6:15pm
  • Sat, Sep 29th 7:45pm
  • Sun, Sep 30th 3:00pm
  • Tue, Oct 2nd 6:00pm
  • Wed, Oct 3rd 8:15pm
  • Thu, Oct 4th 8:15pm
Chicago premiere!

"One of the obvious breakouts of the year: exactly the kind of young work - brash, committed, and narratively unpredictable - that film festivals are supposed to champion." - Steve Macfarlane, Slant

"Beautiful and strange…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 mute little orphan girl with wise knowing eyes wanders into a Zambian village and is declared a witch by frightened locals. She is quickly cast in the dual roles of scapegoat and magic charm in this entrancing tale based in part on African superstition and mythology. Nine-year-old Shula (Mulubwa) is sent to a witch camp, where abandoned older women accused of dabbling in the supernatural are forced to live a sideshow life, on display to tourists and tethered by long streamers meant to keep them from flying away or from changing into goats. In a biting satire on patriarchy, first-time feature director Nyoni blends misogynist folk traditions into a magic realist fantasy filled with humor, haunting imagery, and irony, as the child is dressed and painted in a fanciful costume and exploited by a corrupt official who rents her out to cast spells for cash. In English, Bemba, and Nyanja with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen. (BS)

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