Call Me Kuchu
In Uganda, an appalling anti-homosexuality bill has been introduced in parliament. Nicknamed "Kill the Gays," the proposed legislation seeks to criminalize same-sex partnerships, with penalties ranging from life imprisonment to death sentences for "aggravated homosexuality." Meanwhile, the nation’s tabloids delight in fuelling rampant homophobia by publicly outing individuals. And, not wanting to be left on the sidelines, American evangelicals have declared Uganda ground zero in their battle against the "homosexual agenda."
Heralded as "wrenching yet inspiring" by Hot Docs’ esteemed jury, Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright’s documentary details the unflagging bravery of David Kato—Uganda’s first openly gay man—and his fellow activists as they soldier on against seemingly overwhelming persecution. Not only looking to better the lot of the LGBT community—dubbed "kuchus"—they also aspire to restore unity to a country that’s turned its people against one another.
"Call Me Kuchu is essentially about connecting suffering souls who’ve long been divided by circumstance and social codes, linking their painful memories… in order to construct a unified front of togetherness… The carefully paced soundtrack, resonating with different instruments and musical genres as diverse as Uganda itself, mirrors the characters impassioned words about the necessity of change… This motif evolves even further during the film’s devastating final act, in which a collective rendition of ’Rivers of Babylon’ takes on an altogether transcendent meaning of sacrifice."—Glenn Heath Jr., Slant