Bobi Wine’s original name: Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu. Directors: Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo. Produced by National Geographic
This Oscar nominated documentary is a strong documentation of the suppression by the Ugandan dictatorship under President Museveni, who has been in power since 1986. All opposition is brutally knocked down by his police and military.
Documentation yes, but also a creative documentary where you follow the life of – during five years – Bobi Wine, who tries to change his country in a democratic direction. A true freedom fighter who has made his popularity as a pop singer, using lyrics to formulate protests against the regime. He enters the parliament, speaks against Museveni, when he makes a proposal to change the constitution so he as President can sit for another five years. Bobi and his opposition loses, when the proposal is voted upon, and the regime does all it can to keep Bobi Wine away from the public, who cheers him in big demonstrations. He is jailed, beaten up, as is many of his allies, he is moving around with crutches but decides to go to the US at a moment, where his life is in danger. Also to receive medical treatment.
He goes with his wife, wonderful Barbie, leaving the children at home, she goes home and he comes back only to be jailed again.
It is a film full of violent scenes balanced by moments that show the importance of the access the filmmakers have had to the home of Bobi and Barbie. In a great scene towards the end of the film, Bobi tells the children that they have to leave Uganda to live in the US for security reasons. It’s emotional and Bobi shows his charisma as he does, when he is out there with the supporting crowds. And when he does recordings in the studio of songs; one is of course called Freedom.
The film is built – apart from the tough reportage scenes from demonstrations in the streets – also through clips from different tv media and small reactions from Barbie, who in some cases are not allowed to have contact with her husband. But seems to support him from start till end of his fight for his people. A love story.