Discussed in this essay:
Call Me Kuchu, directed by Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall. 87 minutes.
God Loves Uganda, directed by Roger Ross Williams. Full Credit Productions/Motto Pictures. 83 minutes.
I have on my computer an eleven-second video to which I often return when I think of Uganda. I made it during a reporting trip a few years ago. What I see first are clouds, heavy ropes of twisted gray in an ashen sky, soon to unravel into black sheets of rain. At the center of the frame is a makeshift stage on which a crowd of black men raise their hands above a kneeling knot of whites. It is an anointing. A stringed instrument drones, languid and hoarse. A Ugandan preacher growls: “—this land! You will put a new fire in this life, may the new fire of travailin’, new fire of supplication, I call for the spirit of intercession—” The video ends.