I Am Samuel Review – Lff 2020

I Am Samuel Review – Lff 2020
Not to be confused with Sean Penn’s attempt at Oscar bait, I Am Samuel is a documentary from Peter Murimi about the gay community in Kenya. Focused on Samuel, a rural Kenyan and his partner Alex, as they journey back and forth from their adopted home in Nairobi to the village where Samuel grew up. Following Samuel’s attempt to live peacefully with his conservative family, but also honestly about himself and his relationship.

There’s a breadth to I Am Samuel which highlights the benefits and pitfalls of documentary filmmaking. Absent of any real narrative direction Samuel’s situation, a gay man living in Kenya, where homosexuality is punishable by prison and gay men are routinely beaten on the street by cheering crowds, has enough drama in itself. The documentary is merely an attempt to capture Samuel’s life in all its tensions and mundanities. Work, play, family,
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