Following a banal incident in her local village, 8-year old girl Shula is accused of witchcraft. After a short trial she is found guilty, taken into state custody and exiled to a witch camp in the middle of a desert. At the camp she takes part in an initiation ceremony where she is shown the rules surrounding her new life as a witch. Like the other residents, Shula is tied to a ribbon which is attached to a coil that perches in a large tree. She is told that should she ever cut the ribbon, she'll be cursed and transformed into a goat.

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Critic Reviews (28)

Weighted Avg. Adjusted by the addition of a statistical value.
Critic Score Distribution
Highest score:
Lowest score:
Average score:
  1. Positive: 24 Out of 28
  1. Mixed: 3 Out of 28
  1. Negative: 1 Out of 28
Critical Consensus: Good.


12 Jan 2018
"Talented British-Zambian filmmaker Rungano Nyoni’s beautifully bizarre debut feature, ‘I Am Not a Witch’ toes a delicate line. It could provide an opportunity for Western audiences to feel a smug compassion for the benighted African and their ...

Alliance of Women Film ...

14 Dec 2017
"At times sincerely moving, bleakly comic, infuriating and heartbreaking, I am Not a Witch is a shrewd interrogation of exploitation, power, gender and national and personal identity." ...

World Cinema Guide

13 Nov 2017
"The film does not aim to teach, but encourages us to learn its message. It does not promise a happy ending but, with sadness and great beauty, leaves its loose ends fluttering like ribbons in the breeze." ...

Socialist Worker

23 Oct 2017
"This is a combination of desperate sadness, extraordinary images and powerful singing that you will remember for a long time." ...

Belper News

29 Oct 2017
"Nyoni - whose work here signifies the arrival of a new and assured talent - holds the camera on these poignant images and harnesses everyday sounds to explore the ordinary life Shula is missing. Her comic touches bring this potent subject an energis ...

Buzz Magazine

27 Oct 2017
"I Am Not a Witch is an exceptional piece of work, a confident feature debut from a writer/director who seems to have arrived with a clear sense of what her work represents and what its trying to say. On this evidence, there’s much more to come." ...

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Release Date(s):

May 25, 2017 (Directors Fortnight) (Cannes Film Festival, France)
June 10, 2017 (Sydney Film Festival, Australia)
June 29, 2017 (Munich International Film Festival, Germany)
June 30, 2017 (Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival, Switzerland)
July 16, 2017 (Jerusalem Film Festival, Israel)
July 21, 2017 (New Zealand International Film Festival, New Zealand)
August 4, 2017 (New Horizons Film Festival, Poland)
August 6, 2017 (Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia)
September 8, 2017 (Toronto International Film Festival, Canada)
October 9, 2017 (Adelaide Film Festival, Australia)
October 12, 2017 (London Film Festival, UK)

Executive Producer(s):

Mary Burke, Eve Gabereau, Hannah Thomas, Eva Yates


David Gallego


Rungano Nyoni


George Cragg

Art Director:

Malin Lindholm

Production Manager:

Amaka Ugwunkwo

Production Designer:

Nathan Parker


Maiken Hansen


Matthew James Kelly

Production Company:

Clandestine films, Film4, Soda Pictures, unafilm, Creativity Media


Piano (Mexico)




90 minutes

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