The Importance Of Sexuality In African Film

1591 Words 7 Pages
Sexuality: Never Expressed, Only Condemned
Films are created for a purpose, whether it be for profit, pure entertainment, or to show a message. African films have been critiqued for not finding a balance between entertainment and a political or cultural message and that is a problem that they have had to struggle with. Focusing on messages, gender politics have been presented in African filmmaking for decades. This is shown in films such as Sembene Ousmane’s Moolaade 2004 and Adama Drabo’s Taafe Fanga 1997. Those movies, while recent as well, are more well received. Yet, Queer politics have just started to be explored in film after the start of the 21st century. Documentaries such as Born This Way 2013 by Shaun Kadlec and Deb Tullmann and
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In Cameroon, a person found to be in a homosexual relationship will be harassed and eventually arrested. Every person featured in the documentary has to deal with specific torments and attacks based on their sexual orientation or the way they dress. Similarly in Call Me Kuchu, the members of the community are harassed, but the negative impacts of being suspected or actually coming out are more severe. In Uganda, a person is tracked down and exposed in media outlets if they are found out. If the Bill fought in the documentary had actually passed, people would have had to report anyone suspected of homosexuality so that the person could be arrested and killed. This would have had horrible impacts on parents of LGBTQ children, because they would have had to condemn their own children to the …show more content…
Within the documentaries there is a form of media that exposes the members of the communities. In Born This Way, there is a publication with names and in Call Me Kuchu there is a newspaper that discloses private information as well as pictures about and of the individuals. This causes other people to harass and threaten to hurt them. In some cases, the people are actually hurt. Specifically in Born This Way, in one scene Gertrude tells her partner about a traumatizing assault that happens to her and her friends. Near the end of the scene, sad music fades in. The music is similar to a slowly wound up jewelry box, haunting and heavy. This further cements the mood of Gertrude’s story and continues until Cedric begins to tell his story of how he was threatened. The music is put in place to link the two stories as well as the mood. Both are stories that need to be taken seriously because these are experiences that many people in the community have to deal

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