This is as much a film about Kenya’s complex cultural landscape as it is about two young men who must keep their love a secret. As Murimi notes, ‘Most Kenyans are poor and live in rural areas or informal urban settlements where they cannot afford to hide dangerous secrets like their sexuality’. Filmed over the course of five years, I Am Samuel details how daily life is navigated, with both men negotiating their place in the world as heirs to a traditional way of life. At the same time, we are privileged to witness their commitment, daring and imagination as figures in the queer Kenyan underground. Murimi holds his gaze as he stares this fraught and troubling subject in the face.

Jay Bernard, Programmer

Language Swahili, English with English subtitles

Running time 70 minutes

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

Please note, this film contains scenes of graphic homophobic violence.

UK distribution Bohemia Media

How to watch

  • On BFI Player in the UK with a ticket or festival pass
  • Watch at any time during the festival
  • 4 hours to finish once you start watching

Ticket prices