I am Samuel


June 11, 2020June 20, 2020
(All day) /
New York digital edition
Film available to stream across the US from June 11-20
June 14, 2020
3:30 PM /
New York digital edition
Live Q&A on Sunday June 14, 3:30 PM EDT w/ filmmaker Peter Murimi, Producer Toni Kamau and HRW's LGBT Rights Senior Researcher Neela Ghoshal
QA Session with the Filmmaker
Thank you to everyone who joined our digital film festival screening + live Q&A on June 14. You can still watch the film until June 20, and view the recording of the Q&A with filmmaker Peter Murimi, Producer Toni Kamau & HRW's Senior Researcher in the LGBT Rights program Neela Ghoshal here on our Facebook page.

Film description: Samuel grew up on a farm in the Kenyan countryside, where tradition is valued above all else. He moves to Nairobi in search of a new life, where he finds belonging in a community of fellow queer men where he meets and falls in love with Alex. Their love thrives even though Kenyan laws criminalize anyone who identifies as LGBTQ, and together they face threats of violence and rejection. Samuel’s father, a preacher at the local church, doesn’t understand why his son is not yet married and Samuel must navigate the very real risk that being truthful to who he is may cost him his family’s acceptance. Filmed over five years, I Am Samuel is an intimate portrait of a Kenyan man balancing pressures of family loyalty, love, and safety and questioning the concept of conflicting identities.

 “This is a lovely film, very honest, very raw, with characters who are compelling in how real they are.”
- Neela Ghoshal, Senior Researcher, LGBT Rights, Human Rights Watch

“I can’t really be myself. It’s like they’re seeing just half of who I am.”
- Alex, I Am Samuel

Fully subtitled in English

Peter Murimi
Country of Production: 
English, Swahili, Luhya
Filmmaker Bio(s): 
Peter Murimi

Peter Murimi is a multiple award-winning Kenyan TV documentary director focusing on hard-hitting social issues, from extra-judicial killings to prostitution. He recently won the 2019 Rory Peck award for news feature camerawork. His first win was the CNN Africa Journalist of the year award for his intimate documentary about Female Genital Mutilation among his Kuria community, “Walk to Womanhood” (2004). Another ground-breaking project was the film “Slum Survivors” (2007) which won an award at the Czech Tur Ostrava film festival. Peter was a producer/ director for Al Jazeera's Africa Investigates strand exposing crime and corruption, including "Spell of the Albino" (2011) and "Zimbabwe's Child Exodus" (2011). "Kenya's Enemy Within" (2015), also for Al Jazeera, revealed the terror threat posed by homegrown al Shabaab Somali militants to Kenya. "I am Samuel" is his feature directorial debut, filmed verite style for five years in his home country of Kenya.