In Uganda, not only is a law to outlaw homosexual activity being advocated and supported by important members of the government, but the culture in the country is one in which the practice of being a homosexual, or a ‘Kuchu’, is feared and reviled. This is evidenced by the media in country, against whom the Kuchus are in constant legal battle. The leader of this fight is the first openly gay man in Uganda, David Kato.
Following Kato in his struggles, CALL ME KUCHU is a shocking document of a system that appears so backward, and successfully juggles the plight of the Kuchus while they continue to live the way they want to – intimidating and intense court scenes mixed with cross-dressing parties and intimate family moments.
The backbone of the film is David Kato’s incredible personality and presence
The backbone of the film is David Kato’s incredible personality and presence, a courageous leader who is also humorous, laid-back and entertaining to watch. He is surrounded by some remarkable people, who along with him risk their lives everyday, but do so with warmth, kindness and passion.
The film is definitely made with a western audience in mind, and the shock of their situation works because of that. Some of the examples of the dangers facing Kuchus seem ludicrous, even laughable, and archaic from our view: newspaper headlines that read ‘Homos organise terrorist attack’, or how Kuchus have rocks thrown at them. However, the seriousness of their situation is quickly revealed as truly frightening. The personalities of the subjects are therefore such a contrast to the world that surrounds them, and such a foreign point of view that it is difficult to put ourselves in their place, or not to question their staying in the country. In this, their bravery is revealed.