Film festival in Sheffield, England

This video says about itself:

Feb 22, 2013

This BYOD REMIX clip from Sundance features filmmaker Roger Ross Williams and film subjects Rev. Kapya Kaoma and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of God Loves Uganda. The film explores the connection between American mega churches and how their missionary assistance translates to religious persecution of LGBT people in Uganda.

By Ian Sinclair in Britain:

Sheffield’s annual film festival

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Touted as one of the top three documentary festivals in the world, Sheffield Doc/Fest provides a golden opportunity for documentary producers to sell their wares to the cinema and TV markets.

But as a marketing exercise for Scotland Everybody’s Child probably won’t be snapped up as publicity material by that country’s tourist board.

It’s a film in which director Garry Nelson attempts to come to terms with his past. Placed in care at the age of eight, he endured sexual abuse and at 16 was put out on the streets where he became a thuggish heroin dealer and ended up getting stabbed.

Following the director round the streets of Edinburgh’s Muirhouse housing estate and other poverty-ridden areas, this incisive and affecting film is a hopeful story, despite its grim subject matter.

The Russian tourist board will likewise be frustrated by Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, which shines a light on the authoritarian nature of Vladimir Putin’s presidency.

Made up of young radical artists, in February last year the feminist punk collective Pussy Riot played on the altar of the Christ the Saviour cathedral in Moscow, shouting the lyrics “it’s God’s shite.”

For these “sins” three members of the group were arrested and put on trial with two given sentences of two years in a correctional penal colony, while Amnesty International has designated them prisoners of conscience.

This conventionally produced documentary makes plain just how provocative Pussy Riot are and how conservative the forces are that oppose them. Dylan going electric in 1966? The Sex Pistols‘ legendary 1976 tour of the UK? All child’s play compared to the daring and brave young women of Pussy Riot.

African-American comedian Richard Pryor was very much a rebel too, shocking the conservative US entertainment industry during the ’70s and ’80s. Richard Pryor: Omit The Logic traces the entertainer’s chaotic story as he moves from his clean, comedic persona of the ’60s to become the brilliant, caustic and confessional comedian so many love today.

Like that undergone by Malcolm X and Miles Davis it is an enthralling transformation.

It’s very much a mainstream film with famous talking heads such as Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams and Walter Mosley reminiscing about Pryor. Events inevitably take a tragic turn as Pryor descends into drugs, attempting suicide by setting himself on fire while freebasing on cocaine in 1980.

A year before this bizarre and near fatal incident Pryor famously had an epiphany during a trip to east Africa and stopped using the word “nigger” in his work when he returned to the US.

God Loves Uganda tells a very different story about the relationship between the US and east Africa.

With the Ugandan parliament in the process of passing a bill outlawing homosexuality, the film maps out the strong influence of the ultra-conservative US evangelical churches on Ugandan society.

The frightening International House of Prayer from Kansas is used as a case study.

With HIV rates soaring in the African state and gay people fearful for their lives, the film (above) covers similar ground to 2012’s Call Me Kuchu documentary about the gay rights activist David Kato.

The heroes of God Loves Uganda are two progressive Ugandan churchmen who cogently explain just how dangerous the evangelical anti-condom, anti-homosexuality message is for Ugandans.

9 thoughts on “Film festival in Sheffield, England

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