Rungano Nyoni, UK/France/Zambia 2017, 97 minutes PG Adult themes
Superstition and good, old-fashioned subjugation are the driving forces in I Am Not a Witch, a film that can be surprisingly rousing and entertaining given its extraordinarily grim-sounding subject matter. It’s not often that a movie in which an innocent child is victimized by an inhumane and oppressive system can, for a large portion of its running time, provoke wry smiles as much as it does righteous indignation. Somehow, though, Zambian-born writer/director Rungano Nyoni, revisiting the country of her birth in her feature debut, achieves exactly that – right up until to the point when she pulls the rug out and leaves viewers dumbstruck with the underlying senselessness of what they’ve seen. 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, 13 April 2018.