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7 Years

Distributed by Frameline, 145 Ninth St., Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94103; 415-703-8650
Producer n/a
Director n/a
DVD, color, 26 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Gay and Lesbian Studies, AIDS, African Studies, African American Studies

Reviewed by Gerald Notaro, University Librarian, Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Date Entered: 5/29/2009

Bram Vergerís documentary 7 Years was filmed in Kenya. Its subject, homosexuality, is taboo there, as if not speaking about it means it doesnít exist. The title refers to the length of time gays and lesbians can be sent to prison for homosexual behavior. The men and women who are interviewed for the documentary, even those from a large city like Nairobi, are at risk for admitting they are gay. Vestiges of Post Colonialism are the conservative Christian churches that object to any racial discrimination but do not tolerate varying sexuality. In addition, ancient Islamic beliefs and tribal customs reinforce the discrimination. The traditional Kenyans see gay lifestyles as Western and white. Gay and lesbians of Kenya themselves donít see their lives as clear-cut as Westerners. Police arrests of members of the GLBT community are common, as are the bribes they pay to be released. Many seek work in large multinational corporations whose internal cultures are more tolerant. While the GLBT communities around the world battle for the right to same sex marriage, here the fight is to decriminalize homosexuality. 7 Years reminds its viewers that there are still fights for basic survival even in a modern world. Recommended for purchase.