I Am Not a Witch
97% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes
A darkly comic fable set in contemporary Zambia, Rungano Nyoni’s debut feature is a bold satire of the often contradictory nature of traditional beliefs and modern culture.
When eight-year-old Shula turns up alone and unannounced in a rural Zambian village, the locals are suspicious. A minor incident escalates to a full-blown witch trial, where she is found guilty and sentenced to life on a state-run witch camp. There, she is tethered to a long white ribbon and told that if she ever tries to run away, she will be transformed into a goat.
As the days pass, Shula begins to settle into her new community, but a threat looms on the horizon. Soon she is forced to make a difficult decision – whether to resign herself to life on the camp, or take a risk for freedom.
At times moving, often funny and occasionally surreal, I Am Not a Witch offers spellbinding storytelling with flashes of anarchic humor. Audacious and unforgettable, it showcases Rungano Nyoni as a fresh and fearless new voice in British film.
"the film is, by (director) Nyoni’s description, a fairy tale, although it was inspired by customs and practices that have been in place in Africa for centuries."
"Nyoni does an excellent job of keeping an absurd tone while losing none of the gravity of the situation."
"this smart and savage satire is impressive for the way it joins a dramatically involving story with a Swiftian tale of human society in general and Africa culture and customs in particular."