Kenya has banned the LGBTQ+ documentary “I Am Samuel” because it is an “insult” to the country’s constitution.
The Kenya Movie Classification Board (KFCB) announced on Thursday (September 23rd) that it has banned a documentary entitled “I Am Samuel”, which depicts a gay Kenyan struggling for acceptance and his relationship with another man.
According to the KFCB, the film was “unacceptable and humiliating for Christianity”, claiming that the film was contrary to the values of Kenya and the country’s constitution.
Christopher Wambua, the head of the board, said the film was an “infringement of Article 45” of the constitution, which “recognizes the family as the basic unit of society and defines marriage as two people of the opposite sex.”
“In addition, the laws, culture and beliefs of our society are in the sacred institution of the family,” Wambua said.
He added that the analysis of the film chart found that “I Am Samuel” spreads values that are contrary to the constitution, culture, values and norms of his country. Wambua claimed that the documentary “could easily expose vulnerable groups, including children, to inappropriate content”.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned the ban, saying the fight for LGBTQI + people in Kenya would not be silenced.
Film description: Samuel, a gay Kenyan man, balances duty to his family with his love for his partner, Alex, in a country where their love is criminalised.
Samuel grew up on a farm in the Kenyan countryside, where tradition is valued above all else. He moves to Nairobi in search of a new life, where he finds belonging in a community of fellow queer men where he meets and falls in love with Alex. Their love thrives even though Kenyan laws criminalize anyone who identifies as LGBTQ, and together they face threats of violence and rejection. Samuel’s father, a preacher at the local church, doesn’t understand why his son is not yet married and Samuel must navigate the very real risk that being truthful to who he is may cost him his family’s acceptance.