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I Am Not a Witch

In Rungano Nyoni's captivating tragi comical debut, we meet Shula, the Zambian 9-year-old. She is accused of witchcraft by the village locals and is given a Kafkaesque choice: either to accept her supernatural abilities and thus live the life of a witch, or sever the ties to this old tradition and be turned into a goat that will be eaten for supper. The choice naturally falls on the former, and Shula begins her life as a witch. A task, it turns out, Shula is excellent at, and she rapidly becomes a star indulging in everything from presiding as the village Judge to appearing on cable television. Between socio-political existential slapstick and deeply touching scenes, we are uncertain as members of the audience whether we should laugh or cry over the crazy treatment of Shula. Maybe she is just a child? I Am Not a Witch is a movie that touches the soul, and Shula will remain with you way after the film has ended.

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