Call Me Kuchu
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In Uganda, a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. David Kato, Uganda s first openly gay man, and retired Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo work against the clock to defeat state-sanctioned homophobia while combatting vicious persecution in their daily lives. But no one is prepared for the brutal murder that shakes their movement to its core and sends shock waves around the world.
In an unmarked office at the end of a dirt track, veteran activist David Kato labors to repeal Uganda s homophobic laws and liberate his fellow lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender men and women, or kuchus. But David s formidable task just became much more difficult. A new Anti-Homosexuality Bill proposes death for HIV-positive gay men, and prison for anyone who fails to turn in a known homosexual. Inspired by American evangelicals who have christened Uganda ground zero in their war on the homosexual agenda, the bill awaits debate in Uganda s Parliament.
While most religious leaders in Uganda support the Bill, one lone voice from the Church is willing to speak out against it: Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, a purple-robed sage who has been expelled from the Anglican Church of Uganda for his theological defense of Uganda s LGBT community. Armed with a PhD in human sexuality and a thorough understanding of Biblical scripture, this octogenarian doggedly continues his work to establish a kuchu counseling center and safe house in Kampala.
Meanwhile, local newspapers have begun outing kuchus with vicious fervor under headlines such as: HOMO TERROR! We Name and Shame Top Gays in the City.
David, Uganda s first openly gay man, is one of the few who dare to publicly protest state-sanctioned homophobia. Working with an idiosyncratic clan of fellow activists, David fights Uganda s government and tabloids in the courts, on television, and at the United Nations. Because, he insists, if we keep on hiding, they will say we re not here.
But one year into filming CALL ME KUCHU and just three weeks after a landmark legal victory, the unthinkable happens: David is brutally murdered in his home. His death sends shock waves around the world, and leaves the Bishop and Kampala s kuchus traumatized and seeking answers for a way forward.
With unprecedented access, CALL ME KUCHU depicts the last year in the life of a courageous, quick-witted and steadfast man whose wisdom and achievements were not fully recognized until after his death, and whose memory has inspired a new generation of human rights advocates.
The hardest work is done by local activists like those you will see in this film. To them I want to say: You are an inspiration to me… I am proud to join in this great human rights cause --UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Shocking, moving, enthralling and enraging --Time Out
Impressive and on the mark --Variety
Top customer reviews
This documentary is simply heart braking . It's basic characters are David Kato , activist of LGTB rights , David Bahati, a politician who has penned and promoted the controversial law which brought the death penalty to people guilty of "homosexual acts" and Giles Muhame , publisher of the magazine Rolling Stone.( no relation to the american famous magazine ) which published articles shamelessly demonizing gay people and inciting hatred with tittles such as " Hang Them ! " ,
Ignorance thrives in the central african nation and we see players of public policy comparing it with Kleptomania . Articles full of conspirancy theories even suggest that islamist terrosties cooperate with gay people ( !?!? ) in order to hurt the country .
One could imagine that David Bahati could have been an even more ignorant version of your average tea-party republican if the US societal concept allowed him to fully materialize their beliefs yet any viewer would have a hard time finding a character as repulsive
as Muhame. David Kato himself was murdered during the filming of this so this documentary became unintentionally a biopic of the last months of his life . The most cold blooding moment comes when we see Muhame giggling about it the next day .
Even when the president of Uganda makes his appearance , by talking in a voice over ( " Hilary Clinton wanted to talk to me ..about GAYS !...President Obama called me ..about homosexuals !..." ) he seems to be spitting the words with disgust .
It's strange to think how different the same thing would sound like with a softer voice and a couple of terms changed ( " Hilary Clinton wanted to talk to me about discrimination.President Obama called to talk about equality of LGTB Ugandans " )
No matter what your political opinions are about , whether you are for gay marriage or against , it's impossible not to sympathize with the gay activists in a country where even a priest in a funeral curses the deceased for his sexuality , instead of simply saying good bye to another human being . Sadly their strugle is one about survival against official persecussion and not about equality .
The gay and lesbian issue has always seemed to divide people around the world, from many religious tendencies. Throwing verses out of a book(s) about there being something wrong with same sex coupling; each resource is usually thousands of years old and written with societal control of peoples at-the-time very uneducated, naturally media-free, career sheep herders or such, as its readership; or listeners as very few were schooled for fear of rising above their stations.
And, right now (as the review is typed) Uganda tried to pass into law - introduced in 2012 - to kill homosexuals, and imprison anyone who does not turn in a homosexual (even said person's own child).
Call Me Kuchu follows a few brave citizens who rallied against the would be law. They share their everyday horrors of being unaccepted and persecuted. Sadly, you watch Uganda only relent in the 24th hour due to being threatened by America, Canada and others that financial aid was going to be denied and the United Nations strongly warned the country of the human rights issue that could not be tolerated.
Human rights are a huge issue. In Uganda they are attacking homosexuals, in other areas women, or castes. Call Me Kuchu is a brave gritty unpolished shocker. History is being made - at the cost of lives - and as technology makes the world smaller. Here, perhaps, we can use documentaries like this to help spread what is happening "over there" and save humans from other humans.
You watch upon a semi-catatonic edge as men and women, just trying to live, are exposed in the news, beaten in the streets, and forced to move from their homes. Their "crime" is being homosexual.
Why would a loving God or His son, who Christians know would live among the "lowest" peasants, wish harm to anyone, let alone a person they created in their own image? Obviously, this reviewer is pro-equal rights - pro humanity. But, beyond the personal morals, is a logical argument for the ridiculous persecution of people who may by different than you, but in no way affect your life.
The law was stopped; albeit not for the right reasons. People can make a difference, one brave advocate at a time.