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A fair amount of international media attention was given in 2011 to what was being called the Ugandan “Kill The Gays” bill, which would make homosexual activity punishable by death. Rachel Maddow covered it on her show, Hillary Clinton called the Ugandan President to condemn it, but it was sadly easy to file the story in your brain as yet another awful thing happening far away. In Call Me Kuchu, a deeply powerful new documentary, the plight and ferocious strength of gay Ugandans (who dub themselves “kuchus”) is made personal, as the filmmakers follow several of the country’s most notable gay activists in their struggle against discrimination as well as simply accepting themselves in a society deeply hostile to their existence.
Filmmakers Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall got remarkable access to their subjects, many of whom were having their photographs published by local paper Rolling Stone under the title “Men of Shame,” or who weren’t even out of the closet to their parents. We’re immersed in the small but tight-knit gay community of Kampala, but the film’s central figures are David Kato, who founded the gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), and a handful of his closest friends, including a lesbian who has gone into hiding after being threatened by her neighbors when a photo of her kissing her girlfriend was published in the paper.
The film jumps between the lives of David and his friends and the larger political system they’re fighting against, from legislators in the national government proposing the “Kill the Gays” bill to preachers who give fiery sermons claiming children are being raped or “indoctrinated” into the homosexual lifestyle.
Source: Cinema Blend.com