September 21, 2018 / 12:14 PM / 6 months ago

REFILE-Kenya lifts ban on lesbian movie, making it eligible for Oscars

(Corrects headline by adding “on”)

NAIROBI, Sept 21 (Reuters) - A Kenyan judge temporarily lifted a ban on an acclaimed lesbian movie on Friday, making it eligible to be entered for a Foreign Language Oscar, delighting the filmmakers but angering the censor.

“Rafiki” - “Friend” in Swahili - premiered at Cannes, the first Kenyan film to be selected by the prestigious festival, but it was banned at home on the grounds that it promotes homosexuality, a criminal offence under a colonial-era law.

“During the seven day suspension period the film shall only be open for viewing to willing adults only”, Justice Wilfrida Okwany told a packed courtroom in Nairobi.

Okwany said the makers of the film were “hereby allowed to admit the film” to Kenya’s Oscars selection committee.

A Nairobi cinema announced it would screen the movie from Sunday. (Reporting by John Ndiso Additional reporting by Humphrey Malalo Writing by Maggie Fick Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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