; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: VIFF: Call Me Kuchu

Thursday, 4 October 2012

VIFF: Call Me Kuchu

Another heavy and emotionally exhausting documentary (that's 2 in one day for me!) is Call Me Kuchu which documents the struggle for gay rights in Uganda. Wow. Holy shit. These people are courageous and brave and amazing. To be gay in that place sounds absolutely terrifying. I mean, the country was on the verge of passing a bill where it would be illegal to be gay and punishable by death! WTF people!! It wasn't until the international WORLD told them to STOP THAT SHIT.

Still, their plight is a heavy one. They've got an uphill battle but they are persistent and trying to make change and do right. This film is both inspiring and heartbreaking. I felt like I was literally watching the strength of the human spirit here at work. At times uplifting and hopeful, the documentary sheds light on what it is like to be gay in Uganda. For example, the local paper (whose editor is a total and complete ASSHOLE) likes to put photos of gay people on the front cover, outing them, and under the headline "Hang them!"  Great.  And did you know that if you participate in HIV testing (giving them or taking them) that this is seen as a "gay activity" and can cost you 7 years in jail!?? WHAT. THE. FUCK.

It was sad and infuriating at times to see what life would be like as a gay person in Uganda. Yet there were also celebratory scenes that included a drag show. However, the film takes a tragic turn when one of the main characters is murdered and the ensuing circus that takes place at his funeral is even more maddening. As a supporter from the USA says in the movie, "Uganda, WAKE UP!  STOP THE HATE!"

Call Me Kuchu has one more screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Catch it at 5pm on October 5th. You can purchase your ticket here.

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