Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beyond the Bonzais

Straying from routine walk and entering Lakeside Park by Lake Merritt in Oakland, I found the Arboretum and the Bonzai Garden were both closed, but revisited some special spots beyond:

Call Me Kuchu

Telling people about the documentary "Call Me Kuchu" is apt to elicit the response that they are glad they did not see it and that they hope they never will see it, but that would deprive them of seeing heroic people who, we must hope, will ultimately triumph against the murderous homophobia in Uganda.  Their efforts have so far blocked the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would make homosexuality punishable by death.
While there is a wooden-headed bigotry in the country's government, it is also disturbing to see  a ranting American evangelist building up anti-gay hysteria among the Ugandans.
The beautiful spirit of the leader David Kato is cut down mid-way through the documentary -- here, from an article, is David Kato, with his mother in the background:

The more retiring Long Jones is forced to change his nature after Kato's death and become a leader himself.  When some of those associated with the film appeared on the Castro Theatre stage, after the film was shown at the 2012 San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the standing ovation went on and on, and finally affected Long Jones -- such a tall figure -- so that he had to turn his back for a moment to cry, and was comforted by one of the directors.  My photos, attempted from the far back of the theater, are completely inadequate, but just to give you an impression of a very special and very moving event,  from left to right (If you like, click on the photo, you may enlarge it, while the warning you that the quality is primitive):

Left to Right:  Signer for the deaf; one of the directors, Katherine Fairfax Wright; two from the film:  Bishop Senyonjo and Long Jones; director Malika Zouhali-Worrall; a Festival official whose name I missed.  

The two women who made the film are amazing.  While both are identified as directors, and both may have helped direct, a friend seemed to know that Katherine Fairfax Wright, too shy to speak much, was more the cinematographer:

Identified also as a director, the friend said that Malika Zouhali-Worrall was also the producer:

Here she is listening to Long Jones:

Here Bishop Senyonjo (a compassionate force in the documentary, if somewhat long-winded as preachers can be, upon receiving this award) is honored with a proclamation from the city, and he will be one of the grand marshals at this year's Pride Parade:

Here are some more of the very rough photos, followed by one of the web sites about the film:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Woman Named Judy -- Anyone Know Her?

While standing in line before seeing at the Castro Theatre the great but devastating documentary  CALL ME KUCHU, about Uganda's intention to kill all homosexuals, Don Mark and I enjoyed very much talking to this woman named Judy standing in the late sunlight:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Lonely Eilers, Noble Pioneer or Warrior King?

I suppose everyone has at some point searched the Internet for anyone with their same last name -- as I did with Eilers.  Today in my hot urban Oakland, California, environment, I need a breath of fresh air, scented with nature, from the northern woods, and I return again to my noble warrior king and humble pioneer, with a branch for his scepter, and with a royal loin cloth that is a bath towel -- but such noble bearing.  And I shall sing his chant (I guess it is a song well-known to Canadians where he alters the refrain somewhat)...
Blue lake and rocky shore
I will return once more

Lonely Eilers always cheers me up: