Undoubtedly one of the festival's most harrowing docs, the urgent Call Me Kuchu examines a gay community in Kampala, Uganda, where overwhelming governmental and religious support for the persecution of homosexuals continues to outweigh burning reproofs from the international community. Like the resistance movement it documents, the film is largely driven by the efforts of David Kato, a repatriated activist and Uganda's first openly gay male whose life is devoted to fighting the human-rights atrocities his country proposes under parliament's proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which if passed, would legislate the execution of individuals for being gay and incarcerate others for supporting them. The film's nominal action centers around Kato's litigious opposition to Rolling Stone, a Ugandan weekly tabloid newspaper (no affiliation to the US magazine), which prints the names and photos of those citizens its managing editor, 22-year-old Giles Muhame, suspects of homosexuality. As Muhame's conviction grows stronger (which the film traces over several particularly sickening interviews), his paper takes the shape of a deadly weapon, calling for the government to execute individuals and inexplicably linking the gay community to terrorist bombings. Though its circumstances unfold through a joyous drag show, heartwarming family visits, and several profiles affirming the strength and resolve of the GLTBQ community's advocates (including the truly heroic Christopher Senyonjo, an educated elderly clergyman whose work the film paints as an invaluable binding agent in the fractured alliance), Call Me Kuchu does not underserve the horrifying reality that the odds are heavily stacked against equality.
, Camden, Southern California, CIFF, More