We only recognise these arguments coming from places in America or Europe, it’s hard to imagine a third world country like Uganda worrying about these sorts of issues when it faces far harder times with poverty, war, and crime. However, with a religious country – still bound by the laws of the bible – it’s inevitable that preachers will preach and apparent ‘sinners’ will be reveled.
The documentary follows David Kato – the first openly gay man in Uganda – and chronicles his fight for gay, lesbian and bisexual rights, but no amount of preparation, from crew of individual, could ready you for just how far the religious community will go to ensure homosexuality is outlawed.
Call Me Kuchu details the heart of the struggle for men and women who have accepted themselves as homosexuals and are trying to be accepted into society. Kato, leading the rally, gives the audience an insight into the working day at African LGBT as the group toils on after seeing the disgusting hand of intolerance.
This emotional and visually stimulating film highlights all the fantastic moments this select group of individuals experience together. From sorrow to joy, every moment is captured and shared with the audience to really give you an educational view on the inner workings of an activist organization dealing with free will and rights. The music used relates solely to Africa, keeping the whole feel of the film relevant to the country. But even with that evident beauty, silence is used just as effectively, acting as an emotive tool and grabbing hold your breath and forcing you to really listen to the words of the interviewee.
Without causing offence to Editor-in-Chief, Giles Muhame, of The Rolling Stone (an anti-gay newspaper aimed to expose and punish homosexuals and people associated with them), directors/writers, Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall use clever interview techniques to pry answers from this malevolent man who has caused hundred of attacks (and possible deaths) on the homosexual community. By the end, the audience despises him, and quite rightly. The director’s also use real footage from a law suit between The Rolling Stone and David Kato’s group LGBT, creating a looking glass into how senseless and unimaginable the excuses of this newspaper is. Great documentary making and consciousness.
Throughout the documentary, we continue to listen and gasp at unbelievable accounts, which speak of rape, homosexuals being accused of terrorism and American religious speakers coming to Uganda to fan the fire of abhorrence. There is good news however, after learning about a bill which is set to basically allow homosexuality to be punishable by death, other continents including countries in Europe, Asia and America unite and give strong recommendations to the Ugandan Government that they should not pass this bill, showing Uganda that parts of ‘The West’, as they say, are prepared to cut off relief supplies in a desperate attempt to foil their plans. Finally, a silver lining to our corrupt and failing Governments, the bill has since dropped the need for the death penalty.
No matter how far we go in society, religion is a blessing and a curse. It gives strength to the people that need something to believe in but at the same time it causes debates, protesting, activism, terrorism and wars. Whatever your opinion on gay marriage, or homosexuality in general, surely after watching this documentary, you can’t think that Uganda is right? For the easy weepers, take tissues because the real emotions you see from real suffering is enough to make anyone choke up.