WORD IS

KFCB bans 'I am Samuel' film

I am Samuel debuted at the 64th BFI London Film Festival in October last year

In Summary

• The board said the film is not suitable for viewing by the Kenyan audience.

• KFCB also added that the 52-minute film directed by Samuel Murimi shows two gay men conducting a religious marriage, terming it blasphemous.

KFCB acting CEO Christopher Wambua
KFCB acting CEO Christopher Wambua
Image: HANDOUT

The Kenya Film Classification Board has banned the release of the film 'I am Samuel'.

Through a statement released on Thursday, KFCB said the film is not suitable for viewing by the Kenyan audience.

The statement added that the film  attempts to normalise same-sex marriage as an acceptable way of life, violating Article 165 of the Penal code and the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222 that outlaws homosexuality

KFCB also added that the 52-minute film directed by Samuel Murimi shows two gay men conducting a religious marriage, terming it blasphemous.

"Worse still, the production is demeaning of Christianity as two gay men in the film purport to conduct a religious marriage invoking the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."

"On the basis of religion as a classifiable element, the Board finds the documentary not only blasphemous but also an attempt to use religion to advocate same-sex marriage."

I am Samuel debuted at the 64th BFI London Film Festival in October last year.

KFCB said the film goes against Kenya's culture, values and norms, according to the Constitution.

The Board further said the film influences viewers into believing the older generation, which was once against the LGBTQ+, is accepting the practice of same-sex marriages and that the film also violates Article 45 of the  Constitution, which recognises the family as the basic unit of society.

"On this score, any film or broadcast content appearing to legalise, advocate, normalise or glorify the act contravenes the laws of our land. The documentary is, therefore, unacceptable and an affront to our culture and identity."

The board said the documentary could easily expose vulnerable groups, including children, to unsuitable content.

"While adults may have a right to choose what they consume within the parameters of the law, children and other vulnerable groups are at risk of being corrupted by such inappropriate content."

In 2018, the KFCB also banned the film ‘Rafiki’, saying it promoted lesbianism in the country.

The ban was, however, lifted by High Court Judge Wilfrida Okwany to allow the film's screening for seven days so that it could be submitted for the Oscars.