Cinema Review: Call me Kuchu

DIR: Malika Zouhali-Worrall, Katherine Fairfax Wright

Call me Kuchu is a documentary following the struggle of David Kato against a new bill that threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death in Uganda;  directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright.

In Uganda, David Kato is the first openly Gay man; surrounded by a storm of opposition, homophobic bullying and the threat of slaughter, he is forced to leave his home before deciding to come back and help his people fight to free the GLBTIQ community from oppression.

The film shows the commendable actions of the church, his mother and the courts in supporting both David and the GLBTIQ community in their fight against their tormentors. The camera takes an observational view point which allows commentary from both sides, allowing the viewer to make up their own minds as to the justification on either side. Although the ignorant extremists effortlessly encourage the locals through fear that being gay is a virus that will infect the nation’s children and that the ‘gay people will talk you into being gay,’  abusing their positions of power for personal gain.

Unfamiliar with the films background, it reels you in to the false pretence that there will be resolution to his story. Unfortunately, the reality hits you in the gut with the horrific murder of David in his bed. We are haunted by David’s words earlier in the film, ‘I sleep here alone, but I am afraid that they will come and kill me’ he invites us to experience the fear that is his reality. It is an emotional rollercoaster; but the film is an honour to his memory and his struggle for liberation from oppression. He was strong in his belief, ‘If we keep on hiding, they will say we’re not here’. Although Infused with fear, his life was also one of celebration as we see him with a group of friends, celebrate the court’s ruling.

The film is both inspirational and devastating, highlighting the road to victory for the GLBTIQ community in Uganda and their shocking loss.

This documentary is a chilling insight into the fear that the entire GLBTIQ community and their loved ones face every day.


Julie Nicholl-Stimpson

100 mins

Call me Kuchu is released on 2nd November 2012

Call me Kuchu –  Official Website


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