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David Kato fights for justice for members of the LGBT community in powerful CALL ME KUCHU

CALL ME KUCHU (Katherine Fairfax Wright & Malike Zouhali-Worrall, 2012)
Quad Cinema
34 West 13th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
June 14-20

Later this month, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and other cities will celebrate gay pride as millions of marchers and spectators come together in parades, marches, and other events in which no one has to hide their sexuality. Such is not the case in Uganda, where many believe that being gay should lead to being executed — and that not turning in a gay friend or relative should result in life in prison. In the heartbreaking yet stirring Call Me Kuchu, codirectors Katherine Fairfax Wright, who also served as editor and photographer, and Malike Zouhali-Worrall, who also produced the award-winning documentary, go deep inside the LGBT community in Kampala, meeting with such gay and lesbian LGBT activists as Naome Ruzindana, Stosh Mugisha, John “Longjones” Abdallah Wambere, and movement leader David Kato, the first openly gay man in Uganda, who risk their lives on a daily basis as they fight for freedom and battle against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, a draconian measure being strongly pushed by Member of Parliament David Bahati that threatens the lives of anyone and everyone involved in homosexual acts. As white American evangelicals come to Uganda to support the so-called Kill the Gays legislation, expelled Anglican Church bishop Senyonjo becomes a staunch defender of the LGBT community, the only religious leader to do so. Meanwhile, Giles Muhame, managing editor of Uganda’s popular Rolling Stone newspaper, proudly explains his mission of outing gays on the front cover of his publication, hoping that they get arrested, tried, convicted, and hanged by the government. But the activists won’t let that stop them. “If we keep on hiding,” Kato says, “they will say we are not here.” When tragedy strikes, everything is put into frightening perspective. Call Me Kuchu is a powerful examination of personal freedom and individual sexuality, a film that delves into the scary nature of repression, homophobia, and mob violence in an unforgiving, bigoted society. Call Me Kuchu, which was the closing-night selection of last year’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival, opens June 14 at the Quad, with many of the screenings followed by Q&As with Fairfax Wright and Zouhali-Worrall along with such special guests as Sanctuary NYC reverend Karen Osit, activist Frank Mugisha, Judson Memorial Church’s Micah Bucey, Believe Out Loud’s Joseph Ward, and others.

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