“Alex is the love of my life… we belong together.” What appears to be a sweet and earnest declaration of love from Samuel, the subject of Peter Murimi’s vital documentary, swiftly becomes a defiant statement of incredible bravery as we learn about their lives. The two were born and raised in Kenya, a country where homosexuality can be punished by up to 14 years in prison and where mobs carry out violent attacks.

Within this society of horrific oppression, Murimi strikes a note of hope for the future by focusing on Samuel and Alex’s relationship. Filmed over the course of 5 years, Murimi forms an intimate document of optimism that follows the couple as they visit their strict families and attempt to help them understand their way of life. Through interviews with Samuel’s parents, Murimi reveals how entrenched their views are and the intense pressure they place on their son.

Spending so much time with the subjects of your film is always bound to raise questions about intrusiveness, but Murimi crucially emphasises the collaborative process of the documentary. Samuel explains early on to the camera that “I would like to share my story,” turning the film into a powerful mouthpiece. At crucial moments the focus also switches to Alex’s perspective as he tells us about his own family, who have rejected him violently. These scenes provide a greater context to the couple’s hardships, Alex’s face etched with pain as he describes his struggle.

But ultimately, Samuel and Alex’s story is a hopeful one. We see them amongst their jubilant, supportive friends and appreciating the everyday moments they share together. Though a tad short and erratic in its pacing at times, Murimi’s documentary is a vital reminder of the progress that still needs to be made and a joyously intimate celebration of love in all its many forms.



DIRECTOR: Peter Murimi

SYNOPSIS: Samuel and Alex tell the story of their relationship and intense hardships in modern-day Kenya.