Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Danny Glover's Toussaint L'Ouverture Film That Never Was, But Could Still Be & Other Films on the Haitian Revolutionary Danny Glover's Toussaint L'Ouverture Film That Never Was, But Could Still Be & Other Films on the Haitian Revolutionary HBO Boss Says Issa Rae's Series Casting Now, Slightly Different in Tone from Web Series, Don't Expect Until 2016/2017 HBO Boss Says Issa Rae's Series Casting Now, Slightly Different in Tone from Web Series, Don't Expect Until 2016/2017 Nice! Lupita Nyong’o Will Star in Danai Gurira's Liberia Civil War Drama ''Eclipsed' Nice! Lupita Nyong’o Will Star in Danai Gurira's Liberia Civil War Drama ''Eclipsed' S&A Call for Films That Speak to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement - Cash Award for the Strongest S&A Call for Films That Speak to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement - Cash Award for the Strongest Watch Episode One of Controversial Caribbean-Set TV Series ‘Chee$e’ Watch Episode One of Controversial Caribbean-Set TV Series ‘Chee$e’ John Legend and His Get Lifted Production Company to Executive Produce WGN America's 'Underground' John Legend and His Get Lifted Production Company to Executive Produce WGN America's 'Underground' Marvel Hopes to Release a New Netflix Series Every 6 Months - Including 'Luke Cage' & 'The Defenders' of Course Marvel Hopes to Release a New Netflix Series Every 6 Months - Including 'Luke Cage' & 'The Defenders' of Course Queen Latifah Will Play Wiz and Mary J. Blige Is Evillene in NBC's Musical Production of 'The Wiz' Queen Latifah Will Play Wiz and Mary J. Blige Is Evillene in NBC's Musical Production of 'The Wiz' 'Shaft' Reboot Draws 'Black-ish' Creator Kenya Barris as Writer - Studio Aiming for Something More Comedic 'Shaft' Reboot Draws 'Black-ish' Creator Kenya Barris as Writer - Studio Aiming for Something More Comedic 5 Tips on Writing No-Budget/Low-Budget Feature Screenplays... Back (or Rather Black) By Popular Demand... 5 Tips on Writing No-Budget/Low-Budget Feature Screenplays... Back (or Rather Black) By Popular Demand... What's Wrong with Being Black and Chasing Your Hollywood Dream? What's Wrong with Being Black and Chasing Your Hollywood Dream? NBC Rethinks Broadcast Runs for New Summer Comedies, 'Mr. Robinson' & 'The Carmichael Show' NBC Rethinks Broadcast Runs for New Summer Comedies, 'Mr. Robinson' & 'The Carmichael Show' Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in August Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in August Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Berlin 2013 Review - 'Born This Way'

Shadow and Act By Chantel C. Graham | Shadow and Act February 27, 2013 at 10:24AM

Berlinale – Panorama 2013 USA 2013 DIRECTOR: Shaun Kadlec, Deb Tullmann
0
Born This Way

Berlinale – Panorama 2013 USA 2013 DIRECTOR: Shaun Kadlec, Deb Tullmann

In a country where being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer is a crime, there are still people who dare to be themselves and put their freedom on the line in order to help others in the community. The documentary, the feature-length debut of directors Shaun Kadlec and Deb Tullmann, premiered at the Berlinale and introduced us to the lives of homosexuals living in Cameroon. The film is self-produced and is shot guerrilla style.

Homosexuality is punishable with a prison sentence of up to five years in Cameroon. Yet the protagonists in the film show their faces and openly tell their stories. Two of the main characters, Gertrude and Cedric, make clear the perils with which they are confronted on a daily basis. In a scene underset merely by candlelight, Gertrude tells a story of her brutal gang rape which left one of her friends dead. Gertrude also experiences a major highlight, in that she comes out to her former Mother Superior who accepts her nonetheless. Her relief is genuine and heartfelt. Cedric is attacked and threatened one night due to his sexuality. While it was too dark for him to identify the perpetrators, he knew to take the threat seriously. However, at the end of the movie he safely moves to a different part of town.

Viewers also gain insight into the judicial system by way of Alice Nkom, a highly reputable attorney and activist. She takes on case after case of people accused of being homosexuals. One case is followed closely during taping of two women who are accused of being lesbians and coerced into making a confession. Ms. Nkom assumes her role and has the women released, although they are eventually found guilty. However, the women have been relocated and can live freely while their case awaits the court of appeals. Ms. Nkom hopes to use the opportunity to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

In general, the film explores the different aspects of homosexual lifestyle in Cameroon, or at least in the capital city, without being too intrusive. Many of the protagonists work in the community center, masked as an HIV/AIDS prevention center, which also works to support people incarcerated due to their sexuality as well as to heighten the well-being and offer a safe haven for homosexuals living in the city. The center is losing some of its funding, and the directors have been asked to offer information on how donations can be made to the center. Also, some audience members asked where the homophobic mentality derives. It might seem easy to blame it on Christian colonialism, but the mention of witchcraft came up often in connection with homosexuality in the movie. It is safe to say that the homophobic mentality is at least as complex in Cameroon as it is in other parts of the world.

Born This Way is a simple film taking on a big issue. We thank the directors for their insights and their tenacity in making the film happen.

Chantel C. Graham is originally from the Southeastern United States and has lived in several major German cities over the last 14 years. She's a poet, a dancer, an actor-simply a creative-and a researcher. This review was originally published on The Mic Movement.


Shadow & ActNewsletter