2 MEN AND A WEDDING : REVIEW
By: Raymond Padya
Homosexuality is something that the whole African continent has failed to come to terms with and in countries such as Burundi, Nigeria, Sudan and Malawi, it is regarded as a criminal offence.
The documentary, 2 Men and a Wedding is about two gay lovers, Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, who were sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment in Blantyre, Malawi, after they had a public engagement.
Produced by award winning director Sarah Blecher in 2012 here in South Africa, this story unpacks the implications of being gay in Africa and it also portrays the persecution of gay people in our societies.
Even in South Africa where homosexuality is not a criminal offence, where homosexuals have rights, people are despised, killed or even gang-raped thus Blecher portrays this hatred towards homosexuality as being encouraged by US-based evangelical groups.
2 Men and a Wedding is more than just about the treatment of homosexuals in Africa, but also shows how politicians use the issue of homosexuality to gain public support.
As the 14 year sentencing of Steven and Tiwonge caught international attention, Blecher remarkably managed to show the arm-twisting that many African leaders experience from world donors and organisations such as the United Nations.
The 91minutes documentary really puts you in the two homosexual lovers’ shoes. At the beginning, it may seem funny, crazy, wrong as one of the personas, Tiwonge, likes to dress as a woman and refer to himself as a ‘she’. But as the documentary develops you begin to see the hypocrisy of it all.
Tiwonge and Steven were treated differently in their court case and this story is based on these two men fighting for their rights; their dignity.
This documentary is perceptive and it gets you to consider things that you had never thought of before, like is homosexuality a choice or is it something that is genetic and cannot be changed?
Well, they tried to break this couple and force them to change, but as an old proverb says, ‘you can’t put new wine in old bottles.’
What an insightful documentary.