Preview Screening: The Pearl of Africa + Q&A
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Jonny von Wallström.
The Pearl of Africa tells the story of Cleopatra Kambugu, a 28 year old Ugandan transgender woman. Born biologically male, she is transitioning into the woman she knows she was born to be, in one of the most transphobic places in the world. Forced to leave her country and loving boyfriend behind, she sets out to fight for her right to love, and against all odds, to become the first accepted trans person in Uganda.
From her warm demeanour and disarming smile, you wouldn’t know how dangerous life is for Cleopatra Kambugu. After being outed on the front page of the biggest tabloid in Kampala, in a country with some of the world’s most bigoted anti-LGBT laws (including a notorious bill threatening life imprisonment for homosexuality), her relationship with long-term boyfriend Nelson is tested. Forced to flee to Kenya to escape reprisals, Cleo begins the process of navigating a difficult bureaucracy to reconcile with her partner.
The Pearl of Africa follows its main character as she seeks to shine light on the intricate concepts of gender and identity, bringing viewers into a Ugandan community whose existence has been shrouded in myth and prejudice. A moving and universal love story captured in the face of extreme circumstances, this unforgettable documentary urgently reveals the consequences of Uganda’s anti-LGBT laws.
Directed and produced by: Jonny von Wallström