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Another gay movie is embarassing Kenya

"I am Samuel" banned and declared illegal

24-09-2021 by redazione

Another film on homosexuality is causing uproar in the puritanical Kenyan censorship board and reflecting on public opinion in a country that has not yet overcome certain taboos but which has, especially among the younger generations, a large LGTBQ+ community (as it is "supposed" to be written today).
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has banned the distribution in any form of the Kenyan documentary 'I am Samuel' by Pete Murimi, due to its explicitly gay content.
The KFCB said the film violates Section 165 of the Penal Code, which declares homosexuality not legal and consequently also goes against the Films and Stage Plays Act.
"To avoid any misunderstanding," reads the board's statement, "the ban covers the viewing, distribution, possession or transmission of the film within the Republic of Kenya.
The "fault" of "I Samuel", film which has already been screened at a number of British festivals and whose trailer is also available, with no restrictions for Kenya, would be that of "a clear and deliberate attempt by the production to promote same-sex marriage as an acceptable way of life".
According to KFCB, the intent is evident in the gay couple's repeated declarations of love.
"They go so far as to say that what they feel for each other is normal and should be embraced as a way of life, as well as the characters' body language, including the kissing scenes of the two male lovers."
According to the government body, the film thus seeks to influence the viewer to believe that generations who were once against homosexuality are slowly accepting these customs and considering same-sex marriage as a natural way of life.
"I am Samuel" actually ends with a marriage between two Kenyan males and the final dedication is to the Kenyan gay community.
Another discriminating factor, according to KFCB, is the fact that the practices, which are illegal in Kenya and liable to conviction and imprisonment, have been combined with the Christian religion, trying to marry in a church and invoking the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
"The board finds the docufilm not only blasphemous, but also tendentious in that it tries to use religion to support the legitimacy of same-sex marriage".
This is not the first time that local cinema has been censored for content close to the LGTBQ+ movement. In the past, the film 'Rafiki', which depicted sapphic love in Nairobi, was banned on national soil. After a special mention at the Cannes Film Festival and other international awards, the Kenyan government allowed the film to be released in cinemas, but only for a week.
In all this, public opinion is siding more with the institutions than with the young Kenyan authors and the homosexual community. 
"Kenya is a serious nation, founded on solid principles, well done KFCB" is one of the many comments that have appeared on social media and even those who do not judge and do not crucify producers and directors, "invite" them to go and make films and get married abroad, not in a country that bans homosexuality.
 

 

TAGS: film kenyaomosessualità kenyagay kenyacensura kenya

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