Call Me Kuchu

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Spune-mi Kuchu

USA, 2012, 87'

Call Me Kuchu

Katherine Fairfax Wright / Malika Zouhali-Worrall

Hate is Bad for your Health


"Human rights do not mean gay rights. Especially in Uganda," believes an Ugandan tabloid editor. In Uganda, gay men and women are known as "kuchus". With roots partly in the  British colonial anti-sodomy laws and in the more recent social context, where the scarce access to retro-viral drugs by only a fraction of the country’s HIV-positive has created its own set of social fractures, Ugandans’ hatred against homosexuals has been continuously fueled not only by  political and religious leaders but also by the tabloid press. While the Christian preachers denounce gay people as rapists  and  the politicians draft a bill threatening to imprison those citizens who fail to report gay people within 24 hours, tabloids are always ready to take part in the others’ murderous games by printing  the photos and the addresses of those suspect of being homosexuals. In the end, the unthinkable happens: David Kato, Uganda’s first openly gay civil rights activist is brutally murdered in his home in January 2011, while the filming is mid-through.

Call Me Kuchu chronicles the events leading to that violent denouement, by listening both to the gay activists and to those persecuting them, by that providing a balanced approach to an issue that continues to divide the country. On another level, the film acts as a reminder  that gay rights remain an international, not just an African issue, and that the international community is not passive. Today, nobody can act under the assumption that reprehensible acts committed in any country, will remain unheard of and unpunished at an international level. “The world is no longer what it used to be, where there was no communication. […]. We should not pretend that we are just an island to ourselves”.


15 March, 18:00, Cinema Corso

16 March, 16:00, Cinema Union


English, Swahili


English, Romanian


Lindy Hop Pictures


Teddy Award for Best Documentary, Berlin International Film Festival, Germany, 2012
Best International Feature, Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival, Canada, 2012
Amnesty International Human Right Award, Durban Film Festival, South Africa, 2012
Best Documentary, Madrid LGBT Film Festival, Spain, 2012
Best Documentary, Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, USA, 2012
Audience Award, Watch Docs International Human Rights in Film Festival, Warsaw, Poland, 2012
Audience Award, Hamburg Queer Film Festival, Germany, 2012

Queer Spirits! Film Festival, Toronto, Canada, 2013
Zinegoak Bilbao International LGBT Film Festival, Spain, 2013
Goteborg International Film Festival, Sweden, 2013