I am Samuel


February 02, 2021February 08, 2021
Stream the film across the US from Feb 2-8 using booking link below
QA Session with the Filmmaker
February 04, 2021
RSVP here for the live, FREE + globally available Q&A featuring director Peter Mirumi, Neela Ghoshal, Human Rights Watch Associate Director, LGBT Rights
QA Session with the Filmmaker

Co-presented by Human Rights Watch Film Festival (18-26 March) streaming on Barbican Cinema On Demand and BFI Flare (17-28 March) streaming on BFI Player.

Film description: Samuel, a gay Kenyan man, balances duty to his family with his love for his partner, Alex, in a country where their love is criminalised.

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.

“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 

Access notes: This film is fully subtitled in English

Watch at your own pace from March 18-26, or watch along with us:

Saturday, March 20

  • 7:15 PM GMT – Start watching the film on Barbican Cinema on Demand.
  • 8:30 PM GMT – Join us for a live Q&A online. Free with RSVP.

We do not want the cost of entry to the films to be a barrier for participation in our events.
 If the price of buying a ticket to this film would prevent you from participating, please email the following address (filmticket@hrw.org) + we will send you a free ticket code. We have set aside a set # of tickets per film on a first come first-served basis. Once the free tickets are no longer available, the code will no longer work. For anyone that purchases a ticket, we appreciate your support. Your ticket purchase enables us to make tickets free for those who might otherwise be unable to watch. This also allows the festival to support the filmmakers for sharing their work in the festival, to support the arts organizations bringing this work to you.


Peter Murimi
Country of Production: 
English, Swahili, Luhya (fully subtitled in English)
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.

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