In Nigeria, homosexuality is punishable by 14 years of prison, and in some northern states, death by stoning. Those who wish to live and love in freedom would be better off fleeing the country. The five Nigerians on whose testimonies this moving, experimental documentary is based have settled in the UK. They record their biographies and thus their existence in an audio archive. Filmmaker Simisolaoluwa Akande portrays their words in a poetic collage of metaphors.
Bodies filmed from behind, traditional masked dancers, a figure behind a curtain—out of the shadows, they find their identity. They talk about the joy of being able to celebrate their queerness and live an authentic life, but underneath we also hear the sadness of the exile. Many have not come out to their parents and other relatives far away.
In one respect, Nigeria is more inclusive than England: in Yoruba, the language of one of Nigeria’s largest ethnic groups, there is no distinction between “he” and “she” but only “they.”