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10 Best Documentaries About Uganda in 2024

These documentaries about Uganda show a nation steeped in a rich tapestry of history, culture, and complex contemporary issues. From the haunting legacy of conflicts, such as the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency, to the vibrant resilience of its people, Uganda’s story is both compelling and diverse.


Documentaries About Uganda

Documentaries offer a window into the multifaceted aspects of this nation, exploring themes ranging from the impact of armed conflict to the struggles of marginalized communities.

Of course, there are many documentaries about Uganda that are not listed here, but these are 10 of the best to give a good overall view of the country.


War Dance (2007)

War Dance focuses on the lives of children in a war-torn region of northern Uganda. The story primarily revolves around three children – Nancy, Dominic, and Rose – who have experienced the devastating effects of the conflict between the Ugandan government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

The documentary captures the resilience and hope of these children as they participate in their school’s music and dance competitions. Despite the challenges they face, including the loss of family members and the impact of the ongoing conflict, the children find solace and strength in their traditional music and dance performances.

“War Dance” not only showcases the impact of war on the lives of these young individuals but also highlights the healing power of art and cultural expression.


Call Me Kuchu (2012)

Call Me Kuchu explores the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda, particularly focusing on the fight against anti-gay legislation in the country. The title “Kuchu” is a term used in Uganda to refer to gay individuals.

It primarily follows the life and activism of David Kato, a prominent Ugandan gay rights activist who, along with others, strives to advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in the face of widespread homophobia and discriminatory laws.

One of the central events in the film is the introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in the Ugandan Parliament, which proposed severe penalties for homosexual activities, including the death penalty in certain cases. The film documents the legal and social challenges faced by individuals who are openly gay or supportive of LGBTQ+ rights in Uganda.

“Call Me Kuchu” provides an intimate look into the lives of activists who risk their safety to promote tolerance and equality. The documentary sheds light on the broader issues of human rights, freedom of expression, and the struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community in a country where homosexuality is widely stigmatized.


A Brilliant Genocide (2016)

A Brilliant Genocide focuses on the human rights abuses and atrocities that occurred during the regime of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, particularly in the northern region of Uganda.

The documentary specifically addresses the conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, and the Ugandan government, led by President Museveni.

While the LRA committed numerous crimes against civilians, including abductions, killings, and mutilations, “A Brilliant Genocide” argues that Museveni’s government is also responsible for severe human rights violations, including mass killings and displacement of the Acholi people in northern Uganda.

The film suggests that the Ugandan government, under Museveni’s leadership, engaged in a deliberate campaign to suppress opposition and eliminate perceived threats, often targeting civilians in the process.

It contends that the international community has overlooked or downplayed these alleged crimes, focusing primarily on the actions of the LRA.


Wild Uganda (2018)

Wild Uganda is one of the best documentaries about Uganda that takes a look at the wildlife of Uganda and the beautiful scenery of the country.

Uganda is known for its diverse and rich wildlife, making it a popular destination for safari enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.

In particular, Uganda is home to about half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are the primary locations where you can observe these magnificent creatures.

If you have any interest in the natural world of this region then this is a must-watch for you.


The Pearl Of Africa (2016)

The Pearl of Africa follows the life and experiences of Cleopatra Kambugu, a Ugandan transgender woman, as she navigates the challenges and complexities of living openly as a transgender person in Uganda.

The documentary explores Cleopatra’s journey, including her relationships, struggles, and triumphs. It also sheds light on the broader social and political context in Uganda, where the LGBTQ+ community faces discrimination, legal challenges, and societal prejudice.

Uganda has been known for its controversial stance on homosexuality, with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and incidents of violence against the LGBTQ+ community.

“The Pearl of Africa” provides a poignant and intimate portrayal of the human side of these issues, offering a personal perspective on the resilience and determination of individuals seeking acceptance and understanding in the face of adversity.

This is one of the best documentaries about Uganda that explores the LGBTQ+ community in the country.


Bobi Wine: The People’s President (2022)

Bobi Wine: The People’s President follows the Ugandan opposition leader, musical star, and activist, Bobi Wine.

Bobi Wine used the music he made to fight the person who led the country for 35 years, Yoweri Museveni.


Idi Amin – Uganda’s Brutal Despot

Idi Amin – Uganda’s Brutal Despot takes a look at Idi Amin Dada who was a military officer and political leader who ruled Uganda as its president from 1971 to 1979.

His regime is remembered for its brutality, human rights abuses, and economic mismanagement. Idi Amin passed away in Saudi Arabia in August 2003, having never faced trial for his actions during his rule.

His legacy remains controversial, and his regime is often cited as an example of the devastating consequences of unchecked authoritarianism and human rights abuses.


A Crude Mistake? (2023)

A Crude Mistake? explores Uganda’s oil rush and the fight for climate justice.

Uganda is banking on major oil projects to create prosperity and growth in the country while also facing criticism on the impact on the environment and the human rights of the people in the region who will be affected.

Although there have been protests, drilling has begun on two huge new oil fields on the banks of Lake Albert.


Imba Means Sing (2015)

Imba Means Sing focuses on the African Children’s Choir, specifically on the experiences of several children from Uganda who are part of this musical group. The documentary provides a glimpse into the lives of these young performers, their journeys, and the impact of music and education on their lives.

The African Children’s Choir is known for its international tours, where young singers showcase their musical talents and share their stories to raise awareness about the challenges faced by children in Africa, including issues such as poverty, education, and healthcare.

“Imba Means Sing” not only captures the joy and talent of the young choir members but also explores the broader issues affecting children in Uganda and other parts of Africa.


Uganda’s Stolen Innocence (2023)

Uganda’s Stolen Innocence is a BBC Africa documentary that focuses on reports that emerged from Uganda of a 300% increase in girls aged 10 -14 becoming pregnant, post-COVID-19 pandemic.

Sexual violence has been further fuelled in the north by the traumatic legacy of a 20-year insurgency led by notorious warlord Joseph Kony, who was explored in other documentaries about Uganda mentioned above.

Resources are few for those affected by the sexual violence and there has been alleged police corruption that means justice often comes at a price.


Uganda

Through the lens of filmmakers, these documentaries about Uganda delve into the heart of the country, gaining a deeper understanding of its challenges, triumphs, and the dynamic forces shaping its trajectory.

Documentaries about Uganda provide valuable insights into the country’s history, for a comprehensive understanding of Uganda’s past.

For more on the region have a look at the 10 best documentaries about Rwanda.

And the 10 best documentaries about Kenya.


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