I Am Samuel (2020)

  • Documentary
  • 1h 8m

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

Join us for a digital film festival screening + live Q&A. Watch the film at your own pace, or join us for a shared viewing experience.
Sunday, June 14
2:15 PM EDT – Start watching the film
3:25 PM EDT – 5 min break – get your questions ready and re-fill your beverage!
3:30 PM EDT – Join us for a live Q&A with filmmaker Peter Murimi, Producer Toni Kamau and HRW’s LGBT Rights Senior Researcher Neela Ghoshal. Register here
In a different region? Click here to translate timing to your timezone.


Peter Murimi


Toni Kamau


English, Swahili, Luhya

Bonus Content

2 mins
Privacy Threatened by ‘Homosexuality’ Arrests in Tunisia

Tunisian authorities are confiscating and searching the phones of men they suspect of being gay and pressuring them to take anal tests and to confess to homosexual activity. Prosecutors then use information collected in this fashion to prosecute them for homosexual acts between consenting partners, under the country’s harsh sodomy laws.

Read full report here, and download I Am Samuel to access this video content.

3 mins
Malawi: Arrests, Violence against LGBT People

Malawi’s laws prohibiting consensual same-sex relations foster a climate of fear and fuel violence and discrimination. The punitive legal environment combined with social stigma allows police abuse to go unchecked and prevents many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from reporting violence or getting medical care.

The lack of clarity about the legal status of same-sex conduct leaves LGBT people vulnerable to arbitrary arrests, physical violence, and routine discrimination. The justice minister issued a moratorium on arrests for adult consensual same-sex conduct in 2012, but there are divergent views about its legality.

Read full report here, and download I Am Samuel to access this video content.

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