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. Filmed over five years, I Am Samuel is an intimate portrait of a Kenyan man balancing pressures of family loyalty, love, and safety and questioning the concept of conflicting identities.
“I can’t really be myself. It’s like they’re seeing just half of who I am.” - Alex, I Am Samuel
“This is a lovely film, very honest, very raw, with characters who are compelling in how real they are.” - Neela Ghoshal, Senior Researcher, LGBT Rights, Human Rights Watch
This film offers subtitles in English and Closed Captioning. You can select these options by clicking the ‘CC’ button in the bottom right of the player.
Thank you to everyone who joined our digital film festival screening + live Q&A on June 14. You can still watch the film until June 20, and view the recording of the Q&A with filmmaker Peter Murimi, Producer Toni Kamau & HRW’s Senior Researcher in the LGBT Rights program Neela Ghoshal here on our Facebook page or below in our “bonus content” section.
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English, Swahili, Luhya