Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Africa's Last Taboo is a fascinating documentary about being gay in Africa. It was first broadcast last year by Channel 4.
Samura goes in search of what is driving homophobia in Africa, finding Muslims and Christians working closely together to target homosexuals and visiting American pastors helping to spread anti-gay sentiment.
The doc was made by Sierra Leonean journalist Sorious Samura.
So it was a real challenge for me personally to make this film. It was really tough to confront some of the men who were now standing up against gay men in my continent because I knew exactly where they were coming from and what they would think about me – and it wasn't long before respectable men like Bishop Oyet in Uganda started questioning my sexuality. I spent a lot more time off camera answering questions about my sexuality than I spent interviewing some of the characters in the film.
Many of the scenes can be quite difficult to watch, but it's a powerful doc worth watching through to the end.
A few scenes of note:
- American evangelical preacher Lou Engle preaching anti-gay hatred to a crowd of Christians in Uganda;
- a member of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) confronts a homophobic bishop he knew as a young boy: "Religious leaders are blaming the white man for importing homosexuality here. They just don't want to admit that actually, it's the white man who has imported homophobia here";
- Two lovers are sentenced to 14 years hard labour under a law introduced by the British during the colonial period;
- a gay man named "Fred," arrested, cruelly examined for evidence of anal sex, and, according to his sister, hated by everyone, refuses to surrender to demands that he stop being homosexual.
Africa's Last Taboo: Part 1
Africa's Last Taboo: Part 2
Africa's Last Taboo: Part 3
Africa's Last Taboo: Part 4
Africa's Last Taboo: Part 5