+ Panel Discussion
Dir. Roger Ross Williams
US – 2013 – 83 mins
Thursday 1st August, 2013 at 6:30pm
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH
£10 (£8 conc/£7 ICA members)
After decades of war, brutality and instability, and with 50% of its population under 15 years old, Uganda has become Ground Zero for American evangelicals. Western churches have identified it as fertile ground in which to plant the values of the Christian Right, in the hope of building up an entire country steeped in their beliefs.
Filmmaker Roger Ross Williams tracks a group of fervent, earnest, young missionaries from Middle America on their religious crusade to the 'Pearl of Africa', but these bright-eyed soul-savers are just the tip of the iceberg.
Along with the message comes the doctrine, along with Western support comes political influence, and with his shocking and ambitious film Williams pulls no punches in revealing the impact of this dogma across Ugandan society.
With a bill in progress that makes homosexuality punishable by death, and an AIDS policy based on preaching abstinence, God Loves Uganda is as timely as it is provocative.
Startling ... strong, head-shaking stuff - Variety
Williams is to be commended not only for his filmmaking skill, but also for pulling back the curtain on a most disturbing situation - The Hollywood Reporter
WINNER: Sheffield Youth Jury Award, Sheffield Doc Fest 2013
WINNER: Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary, 2013 Dallas International Film festival
WINNER: Full Frame Inspiration Award 2013
WINNER: Best Feature Length Documentary, Ashland Independent Film Festival 2013
Followed by a post-screening Q&A panel including:
Jennifer Robinson (chair) - A human rights lawyer and Director of Legal Advocacy at Bertha Philanthropies
David Cecil - Producer of Ugandan play The River and the Mountain, for which he was briefly jailed in Uganda
Jonathan Cooper - Human rights barrister at Doughty Street Chambers and head of the Human Dignity Trust
Prossy Kakooza - LGBT asylum seekers and refugees human rights campaigner
Please Note: The film itself will start promptly at 6.30pm, so please arrive in good time.
David Cecil is the founder of Tilapia Cultural Centre in Kampala, Uganda. Last year he produced a play, The River and the Mountain, a comedy drama that featured a gay businessman as a protagonist. The play was well-received by local audiences, but Cecil was charged by Ugandan authorities with 'disobedience'. He was then jailed on remand and deported in an extra-judicial process, despite the Ugandan judiciary dismissing the charges against him. He has always insisted that he is not an activist, but a victim of the 'culture wars' in Uganda, and holds mixed views on the issue of gay activism in Uganda.
Jonathan is an international human rights law practitioner. As a barrister in private practice, he has worked with the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the UK Ministry of Justice, the UK Home Office and the Director of Service Prosecutions. He has taken cases to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of applicants on issues ranging from LGBTI rights to prisoner's rights. He has also litigated before the UN Human Rights system.
Prossy is a Ugandan refugee, and an LGBT asylum seekers and refugees human rights campaigner. She has written for different publications including The Guardian and Out North West, and has been on BBC Women's Hour to raise awareness. She is a co-founder of Lesbian Immigration Support Group (LISG) which helps women seeking asylum on the basis of their sexuality.
Jen is Director of Legal Advocacy for the Bertha Foundation, which supports public interest law organisations around the world and social justice documentary films, including God Loves Uganda. The Bertha Foundation supports the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which filed the case against Scott Lively in the US courts for persecution of the LGBTI community in Uganda. Jen is herself a human rights lawyer who has acted in human rights, free speech and freedom of information cases before the English and European courts and the UN human rights system.