The Daily Agenda for Friday, June 14
June 14th, 2013
“God Loves Uganda” Documentary Screening: Sheffield, UK. The film documentary God Loves Uganda tells the story that longtime BTB readers know very well: “the role of the American evangelical movement in Uganda, where American missionaries have been credited with both creating schools and hospitals and promoting dangerous religious bigotry. The film follows evangelical leaders in America and Uganda along with politicians and missionaries as they attempt the task of eliminating “sexual sin” and converting Ugandans to fundamentalist Christianity.” I’m very honored to have been able to provide some very small technical assistance to the film makers (as you can see in the film’s credits). Director/Producer Roger Ross Williams had a very personal motivation to tell this particular story:
I grew up in the black church. My father was a religious leader in the community and my sister is a pastor. I went to church every Sunday and sang in the choir. But for all that the church gave me, for all that it represented belonging, love and community, it also shut its doors to me as a gay person. That experience left me with the lifelong desire to explore the power of religion to transform lives or destroy them. Tt desire took a new form when I visited Africa to make my film Music by Prudence. I was struck by how intensely religious and socially conservative Africans were. There was literally a church on every corner. People were praying in the fields. It was like the American evangelical Christianity I had known – but magnified by Africa’s intensity.
David Courier of the Sundance Film Festival said God Loves Uganda “may be the most terrifying film of the year.” It will screen tonight and tomorrow night at the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival. Tickets and information is available here. More screenings are scheduled in the next two weeks in Washington, D.C.; Silver Spring, MD; Provincetown, MA; and Brooklyn and Tonawanda, NY.
“Call Me Kuchu” Screening: New York, NY. “Kuchu” is the word LGBT Ugandans use to call themselves, although some think it is derogatory. Sort of like “queer” elsewhere. And as with “queer,” “kuchu” is an all-encompassing term which embraces all of the Ls, Gs, Bs, Ts, and everything in between. Hence the title of the documentary which will open in US theaters today in New York. Call Me Kuchu “explores a community that is at once persecuted and consoled by the Christian faith, and examines the astounding courage and determination required not only to battle an oppressive government, but also to maintain religious conviction in the face of the contradicting rhetoric of a powerful national church.”
The film follows veteran LGBT advocate David Kato as he works to prevent Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill from becoming law. The film shows his own struggles against a vicious public vigilante campaign marking him for death, and a rare legal victory for gay Ugandans against that campaign — just three weeks before Kato’s brutal murder in his home. Call Me Kuchu opens today at the Quad Theaters, with showings at 7:20 and 9:30, with additional screenings through next week. The film will also open in Los Angeles on June 21 at Laemmle Music Hall. Additional showings are scheduled this month for Seoul, South Korea; Zaragosa, Spain; Cambridge, UK; and Montevideo, Uruguay. Check here for more details.
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Anchorage, AK; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Bisbee, AZ; Boise, ID; Butte, MT; Chemnitz, Germany; Denver, CO; Edinburgh, UK; Erie, PA; Flagstaff, AZ; Iowa City, IA; Kalamazoo, MI; Lancaster, PA; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Louisville, KY; LuleÃ¥, Sweden; Lyon, France; Memphis, TN (Black Pride); MÃ¼nster, Germany; Nantes, France; Nashville, TN; Oldenburg, Germany; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Portland, ME; Providence, RI; Rome, Italy; Sacramento, CA; Saskatoon, SK; Sitges, Spain; Spencer, IN; Strasbourg, France; Syracuse, NY; Thessaloniki, Greece; Thunder Bay, ON; Toulouse, France; Venice, Italy; Vienna, Austria; Warsaw, Poland; Zagreb, Croatia.
AIDS Walks This Weekend: London, UK.
Other Events This Weekend: Lesbian and Gay Stadtfest, Berlin, Germany; Seoul LGBT Film Festival, Seoul, South Korea; Out In the Vineyard Gay Wine Weekend: Sonoma, CA; Tel Aviv LGBT International Film Festival, Tel Aviv, Israel; Bush Garden Gay Days, Williamsburg, VA.
Boy George: 1961. George O’Dowd’s first stage name was Lieutenant Lush when he performed with Bow Wow Wow. That tenure was short lived: he was booed off the stage. He then joined up with drummer (and regular boyfriend) Jon Moss (previously of The Damned and Adam and the Ants), bassist Mikey Craig and guitarist/keyboardist Roy Hay. They called their group In Praise of Lemmings and then Sex Gang Children. When they finally realized that they had a androgynous Irish singer, a black bassist, a Jewish drummer and an English keyboardist, they decided to call themselves Culture Club, with Boy George as the frontman. Their debut album Kissing to be Clever was released in 1982, and their single “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” became an international hit. “Time (Clock of Heart)” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya,” gave them the distinction of being the first group since the Beatles to have three Top 10 hits in the U.S. from a debut album. Their next album Colour By Numbers, did almost as well, with “Church of the Poison Mind” and “Miss Me Blind” hitting the Top Ten in the U.S. and “Karma Chameleon” holding the #1 spot for three weeks (and for six weeks in the U.K.).
By the late 1980s, Boy George left Culture Club behind when his relationship with Moss soured and he began descending into a nasty heroin addiction. After rehab, he had a few modest hits as a solo artist, including the title song from the movie The Crying Game in 1992. He wrote the musical score for the London musical Taboo, which was based on his life. It earned him a Tony Award for Best Musical Score. But his troubles continued to follow him. In 2005, he was arrested in New York for cocaine possession and filing a false burglary report. The drug charge was dropped and he pleaded guilty to the false report. He was sentenced to five days of community service, fined $1,000 and ordered into drug rehab. In 2008, he was arrested and charged with assault and false imprisonment. He was convicted and sentenced to fifteen months imprisonment. He was released after four months and was placed under home detention. His latest album, Ordinary Alien, was released in 2010 after a more than ten year hiatus.
If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).
And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?