Wright and Zouhali-Worrall

Wright and Zouhali-Worrall

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Call Me Kuchu is an eye-opening insight into the lawful violence that is still permitted against sexual minorities in Uganda. The film intertwines discourses surrounding each end of the argument. Preachers who choose to spread the word of homophobia and transphobia, and queer activists who fight for their sexual freedom.

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Out of those against same-sex relations, the most shocking is the publication titled Rolling Stone, where the editor unashamedly exposes queer citizens of Uganda in print, with the impression that it’ll encourage the public to assault them, and the courts to hang them. It also blames the LGBT community for terror attacks and paedophilia to add fuel to the fire, and further enrage their readership.

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However, on the other end of the argument, we meet openly gay David Kato and his team of activists, who aim to support the community like their family, denounce false accusations from the tabloids and protest any laws made to deny their sexual freedom. In the evenings, they get together in their own personal safe space, which seems like a mini haven for those who suffer both violent and verbal abuse outside those protective walls.

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The violent murder of Kato is one of the most heart-breaking moments in the entire documentary. He is not allowed to rest in peace. Preachers and newspapers exclaim that his death was a punishment from God, rather than a hate crime fuelled by discrimination. While his friends and family fight for his funeral to pay respect to him, protesters against same-sex marriage disturb the ceremony to spread their religiously-fuelled homophobic agenda.

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Following this heart-breaking happening, the directors follow Kato’s small gang of brave activists, who celebrate his life in a karaoke bar. Following their dear friend’s unsettling funeral, they find solace in each other and still contain hope. What is most amazing about this scene is that Wright and Zouhali-Worrall juxtapose this small group of Kato supporters with the international uproar that has been caused by his death. News stations worldwide condemn the discriminatory laws in place in Ugandan courts, and people take to the streets to promise that Kato’s name will never been forgotten.

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Call Me Kuchu exemplifies the importance of voice in society, and how international voices are effective support for minorities that are suffering against the laws of their own nation.

 

Call Me Kuchu
director KATHERINE FAIRFAX WRIGHT and MALIKA ZOUHALI-WORRALL
year 2012
director of photography KATHERINE FAIRFAX WRIGHT
cast DAVID BAHATI, DAVID KATO, GILLES MUHAME, NAOME RUZINDANA and CHRISTOPHER SENYONJO

 

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