The documentary by Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo, which had its Venice premiere outside of competition, follows Ugandan musician and politician Bobi Wine as he spars with the established governing elite.
This observational documentary film follows Bobi Wine and his wife Barbie. Bobi rises from the ghetto slums of Kampala to one of the country’s most loved superstars. His musical talent lifts him and emboldens millions of previously voiceless people.
Better known for his “Bobi Wine” alter ego, Robert Kyagulanyi was raised in the rough Kamwokya neighborhood of Kampala and he became one of the country’s best-known musicians. He parlayed that success into a run for parliament in 2017 and then a run for president, where his status as a rising populist force made him a threat to the establishment.
Yoweri Museveni ascended to the presidency of Uganda in 1986 and, given that his predecessors included Idi Amin, it’s no wonder that his ascension was greeted with optimism. But 35 years later, he’s still president, having eliminated term limits and a constitutionally mandated age limit and having been at the center of several waves of humanitarian outrage.
Read: Top 15 Bobi Wine Quotes
The charismatic political novice causes enough disruption to worry the higher-ups, particularly in the aftermath of a subsequent constitutional revision that eliminates presidential age restrictions. He is detained, held, and tortured in military barracks for several weeks after being accused of throwing stones at a presidential convoy.
Unmoved upon his return, he decides to run against Museveni in the upcoming election in 2021, even though it will be contested mostly with his hands figuratively tied behind his back, frequently while under house arrest, and for a result that no one believes will be fairly achieved.
But the principle is what matters, and “Bobi Wine: Ghetto President” emotional’s weight comes from the passionate zeal with which he plunges into this blatantly hopeless position, at least coming close to defeating the system than any of his supporters can.
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