God Loves Uganda, a documentary film about the Christian Right's influence in spreading homophobia premiers a the Sundance Film Festival this week. The film features, among others, the notorious American antiabortion and antigay demagogue, Lou Engle of The Call. It also features my colleague Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma of Political Research Associates, author of two related reports on Africa, Globalizing the Culture Wars and Colonizing African Values.
Here a blurb from the Sundance web site:
A battle rages in East Africa, where crosses replace guns and shouts of prayer roar louder than missiles. American evangelical Christians have chosen Uganda, with Africa’s youngest and most vulnerable population, as their ground zero in a battle for the soul of a continent. American missionaries and religious leaders are working with African pastors in a radical campaign to eradicate sin through the most extreme measures. The stakes are nothing less than life and death.Here is an excerpt from the God Loves Uganda web site:
It features Lou Engle, the creator of The Call which brings tens of thousands of believers together to pray against sexual sin. It provides a rare view of the most powerful evangelical minister in Uganda, who lives in a mansion where he’s served by a white-coated chef. It goes into a Ugandan church where a preacher whips a congregation into mass hysteria with anti-gay rhetoric.Here is an excerpt from the Indiewire discussion with director Roger Ross Williams:
It records the culture clash between enthusiastic Midwestern missionaries and world weary Ugandans. It features a heartbreaking interview with gay activist David Kato shortly before he was murdered. It tells the moving story of Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, a minister excommunicated, ostracized and literally spat on for being tolerant and his remarkable campaign for peace and healing in Uganda.
While shooting in Uganda in 2011, the conservative evangelical pastors I was filming — the most ardent supporters of the country’s now infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill — discovered that I myself am gay. One began circulating emails suggesting that I be killed. I left the country immediately, and hoped I’d never have to go back.
Cut to a year later. I’m with my editors at the Sundance Documentary Edit lab and it is becoming abundantly clear that we needed more footage from Uganda. We needed to spend more time there to do justice to this very complicated, and very important story. And the only way to get it right meant I had to go back. Either I sacrificed, or the story would have to.
And so I went. I spent three terrifying, thrilling weeks in Uganda, knowing full well that this would be the last time I was in a country I’ve been filming for the past three years. And I’m happy to say that without the footage we captured on that last trip, ‘God Loves Uganda’ probably wouldn’t be premiering at Sundance.”