CALL ME KUCHU
(photo via Frameline)
June is Gay Pride Month and to celebrate we’re posting about an important LGBT film one of our staff members recently watched. MVFF Programmer Janis Plotkin caught one of the fantastic films at the 36th Frameline International LGBT Film Festival in San Francisco:
I ventured out last Tuesday evening to Castro Theatre for a screening of Call Me Kuchu, a US documentary at the 36th Frameline Film Festival. The report back was awesome. The film captures the current situation in Uganda where homosexuals are at risk of being beaten, harassed, or stoned to death, and follows the days/months before and after the new Anti-Homosexuality Bill took homophobia to new lows. Right now it’s the death sentence for HIV+ men and three years in jail for being a known homosexual. Kuchu also tells the story of Ugandan gay activist David Kato and his eventual murder for daring to be ‘out.’
As the credits rolled, the packed theatre of 1400 people started cheering with thunderous applause and surprise guests joined the filmmakers onstage: Longjones, one of the Ugandan gay activists and subjects in the film, and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, a supportive Episcopalian Priest. The applause and standing ovation went on for a good 10 minutes, the longest sustained ovation that I have ever experienced at a festival. I started crying when I realized those on stage were crying too. Can film change the world? Yes. These activists in Uganda now know that they are not alone. They are supported and they are loved for their efforts to make right the hateful wrongs of the misguided.
-MVFF Film Programmer Janis Plotkin