The Kenya Film Classification Board has banned the documentary film I Am Samuel, saying it promotes same-sex relations and flouts the Films and Stage Plays Act.
KFCB acting CEO Christopher Wambua said the film was submitted for vetting this month and was reviewed on September 8 and 17.
Mr Wambua said the board concluded that the producer deliberately promotes same-sex marriage as an acceptable way of life. They objected to the body language of the characters, including kissing scenes involving two female lovers.
The documentary features the marriage of two men and the producer concludes the film by dedicating it to the gay community.
The film, KFCB says, blatantly violates Article 165 of the Penal Code that outlaws homosexuality, as well as the provisions of the Films and Stage Plays Act.
“Additionally, the film tries to influence the viewer into believing that the older generation that was once against LGBTQ+ is slowly buying into the practice and accepting same-sex marriage as a normal the way of life,’’ Mr Wambua said.
The Constitution defines marriage as between two persons of the opposite gender.
Mr Wambua noted that the documentary is unacceptable and an affront to our culture.
“Worse still, the production (demeans) Christianity as two gay men in the film purport to conduct a religious marriage invoking the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,” he said.
“On the basis of religion as a classifiable element, the board finds the documentary not only blasphemous but also an attempt to use religion to advocate same sex marriage.”
The board concluded that the documentary could easily expose vulnerable groups, including children, to unsuitable content. While adults have the right to choose what they consume within the law, Mr Wambua said, children and other vulnerable groups are at the risk of being corrupted by such inappropriate content.
“For the avoidance of doubt, RESTRICTED in this case means that it is prohibited from exhibition, distribution, possession or broadcasting within the Republic of Kenya,” he said.
“Any attempt to exhibit, distribute, broadcast or possess the RESTRICTED film within the Republic of Kenya shall, therefore, be met with the full force of the law.”
Mr Wambua also said that the board welcomes local and foreign support for Kenya’s budding film industry, and such funding should focus on producing content that is aligned with Kenyan laws.