African Stories | Chicago Reader

African Stories

American gays griping about homophobia should consider the much worse horrors displayed in these three videos about Africa. The mother in Mpumi Njinge'sMy Son the Bride expresses disgust on finding a lover in bed with her son, then tries to kill the son with a pot of hot cooking oil (though the lover's family accepts the couple with hugs and attends their wedding). Sue Maluwa Bruce's Forbidden Fruit (2000) is the story of two women discovered together in their Zimbabwean village and forced to separate for two years; it's narrated largely by a storyteller, whose delicate voice and rhythm offer a telling contrast to the oppression she recounts. Beverley Ditsie and Nicky Newman's Simon & I (2001) shows how South African lesbians are often threatened with rape as a “cure”; but Ditsie narcissistically conflates her troubled friendship with activist Simon Nkoli, who refuses to separate his blackness from his gayness, with their larger and more interesting struggle. 108 min.

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