The documentary is an intimate portrait of an everyday Kenyan man whose love puts him at odds with society and family expectations—all set against the backdrop of a country that criminalizes homosexuality.
"Cinema Africa" is your guide to African film. Writer Ciku Kimeria is highlighting new movies and documentaries that tell fascinating stories or questioning prevailing narratives and occasionally returning to the classics that paved the way for a new generation of filmmakers.
Samuel grew up in the Kenyan countryside, where tradition is valued above all else. He is close to his mother but his father, a local pastor, doesn't understand why he isn't married yet. After moving to Kenya's capital in search of work and a new life, Samuel falls in love with Alex and finds community and belonging. Despite the threat of violence in the city and of rejection by Samuel's family in their rural home, the couple move between their co-existing worlds, hoping to win acceptance in both. Samuel's story is one that award winning director Pete Murimi, and well-acclaimed producer, Toni Kamau, beautifully portray in their recently released documentary, I am Samuel. The documentary was edited by Ricardo Acosta C.C.E and Phil Jandaly, two well regarded editors in the international film community.
Filmed in a vérité style over five years, the documentary was made possible through grants from Sundance, Hot Docs, IDFA Bertha, Oak Foundation, Heinrich Boll Foundation, Good Pitch, Afridocs and Docubox. Docubox, headed by award-winning Kenyan filmmaker Judy Kibinge is a documentary and fiction film fund for African filmmakers. Judy also serves as an Executive Producer on the project along with Peter Mudamba and Oscar winning director Roger Ross Williams.