Leaving Africa – A Story about Friendship and Empowerment

Riitta, a Finn, and Catherine, a Ugandan, live together in Uganda. By day the two sixtysomethings provide sexual health and equality education for Catholics, Muslims and Anglicans alike. By night they smoke, do crosswords and don’t shy away from frank discussions.

At the women’s workplace, men reflect on the inequalities in their culture to each other’s applause as if in an AA meeting, but outside the classroom, there’s controversy over the two women living in a shared household and giving sexual advice. Conservative officials threaten to cut off permits and funding for the Cofcawe organisation, and put an end to Riitta’s lifework of over 25 years in Uganda.

Leaving Africa is a film about friendship and revolt. Iiris Härmä’s lens lingers unadorned on the women’s life. The realistic style bathes the beautiful and thorny sides of friendship in the midday light of Uganda, but not without a thick gradient of Finnish pithiness.

Text: Mikko Gustafsson / Translation: Tapio Reinekoski

Director Iiris Härmä and the two main characters of the film, Riitta and Catherine will be present at the screening on Wednesday.

Director Iiris Härmä and Riitta will be present at the screening on Saturday.

Languages: Finnish, English, Luganda
Subtitles: English



  • Name in Original Language: Hyvästi Afrikka - tarina ystävyydestä
  • Director: Iiris Härmä
  • Country: Finland, Uganda
  • Year: 2015
  • Length: 84 min
  • Age limit: S
  • Format: DCP
  • Cinematography: Visa Koiso-Kanttila
  • Editing: Niels Pagh Andersen
  • Audio: Janne Laine
  • Music: Marel Vaid
  • Production: Visa Koiso-Kanttila / Guerilla Films


  • Savoy: Wednesday 28.1. at 18:45
  • Kinopalatsi 6: Saturday 31.1. at 13:00