Kenya’s relationship with LGBT is complicated – being gay there is legal, but not socially accepted. As such, there is always perpetual fear, resentment and hatred that LGBTQ individuals have to deal with. The film covers five vignettes, all of which take place in Kenya and are based on real-life accounts assembled by the NEST Collective.
The first is entitled Ask Me Nicely and follows the relationship between Faith and Kate, two high-school students who struggle with their sexual orientation. Run is the film’s second story and it focuses on a gay businessman named Patrick. The negotiator has a very close friend named Kama, whom he later discovers is wholeheartedly homophobic and violent. When Patrick is spotted by his best friend at a local gay night club, a dangerous altercation breaks out between them. The following story, entitled Athman, revolves around Ray and Athman, two intimate friends who work on a farm and have had a tight-knit friendship for years. Everything changes when a woman named Fiona makes an appearance on the farm and Athman seems to feel some form of attraction towards her. The two men struggle to disentangle their own sexuality from the core of their relationship.
Duet is the fourth vignette and tells the story of Jeff, a well-known researcher who hires an escort named Roman. Restless and shy at first, Jeff ends up having a long and meaningful conversation with the man instead of casual sex. The last story is entitled Each Night I Dream and follows the couple between Achi and Liz, two LGBT lovers who try to escape Kenya due to the new anti-gay laws being enforced.
“As a lone voice in a continent plagued by homophobia and repression, Stories Of Our Lives is one that deserves to be heard.”
— Dog And Wolf
“These short films form a powerful whole.”
— Eye For Film
“With an artful and intimate touch, director Jim Chuchu beautifully gives voice to the lives of gay and lesbian Kenyans in this omnibus film, shot in black-and-white.”
Did You Know?
Stories Of Our Lives was created by dedicated members of The Nest Collective and was initially supposed to be a book. The community gathered over 40 different stories, all of which were meant to be transcribed and collected. However, Jim Chuchu and other members thought that the stories deserve their own visual medium and decided to select a few of them and create a few short films centered on them. Review our Gay Themed Films Here