Call Me Kuchu

Homosexuality is still taboo in many societies throughout the world. One such society is the East-African country of Uganda, which has become renowned for its hostile attitude towards LGBT communities following recent legislative attempts to make homosexual acts punishable by death. Now a new documentary shows us first hand the atrocities that take place on a daily basis.

Call me Kuchu by filmmakers Katherine Fairfax and Malika Zouhali-Worrall follows members of LGBT community (known as ‘Kuchus’) in the Ugandan capital of Kampala as they struggle to survive in a world where their sexuality puts their lives in incredible danger.

The trailer for ‘Call Me Kuchu’ is breathtaking (see below), and back in June 2012, it was this trailer that captivated industry leaders at Channel 4′s BRITDOC Good Pitch event, convincing major donors to contribute funds and assistance to the film’s young creators, Katherine Fairfax and Malika Zouhali-Worrall. Now, less than a year later, the film is about to be released theatrically on 2 November, hopefully to great success, because I believe it is one of the most powerful issue-led documentaries of the year.

The film follows four members of Kampala’s Kuchu community, all of whom have found it extremely challenging to live in a country where they are considered ‘sinners’ by society and ‘criminals’ by the law, where newspapers print the headlines “HOMO TERROR”, and where religious leaders like the notorious Martin Ssempa have incited hatred and violence against them.

At the centre of this community is a man called David Kato. David is known as the only openly gay man in Uganda, and he is a warrior in the face of hiscountry’s anti-homosexual hysteria, working tirelessly to try and protect the human rights of his community. Despite the fact that his face has been printed on the front cover of a Kampala tabloid, exposing him to the masses as a “known homo”, he exudes confidence and strength against those who wish to see him destroyed.

David and his friends are fighting against a veritable Goliath in their quest to be treated as equals, and respected as human beings. The levels of media and state propaganda being disseminated against homosexuality in Uganda is shocking, with government representatives stating that ‘gays’ are ‘recruiting’ young people into homosexuality, and newspaper editors suggesting that the July 2010 Kampala bomb attacks were somehow caused by homosexuals…

This article was original written for docgeeks.com. Read the review in full here: http://docgeeks.com/2012/10/29/call-me-kuchu/

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