“I can’t really be myself. It’s like they’re seeing just half of who I am.” This harrowing statement is a common phrase for closeted queer folks living in places where tradition is more valued than acceptance.
Growing up in the Kenyan countryside, Samuel was never able to be himself. His conservative family’s involvement with the local church has caused a rift between them. When Samuel’s family continuously asks why he is not married yet, Samuel takes the opportunity to leave home and start a new life in Nairobi. There he meets a group of like-minded queer men and falls in love with Alex. Now Samuel must choose whether or not to return home to face his family’s judgment and bring his two drastically different worlds together.
Filmed over five years, I Am Samuel highlights Samuel and his queer friends as they grapple with the prospect of freedom at the cost of losing connection with their families.