I am the gigantic baobab

Strangelove Film Festival 2020/21
Leeds Queer Film Festival 2020 (postponed due to Covid)  

John Wynne

Positive change is coming slowly, if at all, for LGBTQ+ people in many parts of the world. To be lesbian, gay or transgender in Botswana requires considerable strength and bravery; it often means facing resistance and prejudice from the church and even within one’s family – both of which are powerful social influences. In I am the gigantic baobab, we wanted to go beyond a structured interview approach to capture people’s experiences and stories in ways they felt most comfortable with. We subsequently explored various formal approaches to working with sound and image for each participant in order to amplify their words and reflect the diversity of their experiences, which varied from activism and artistic expression to correctional rape and domestic violence. Only one participant in the project asked to remain anonymous, and rather than disguise his voice, we chose to render his words in rolling text. All the participants felt it was important to speak out to bring about change in Botswana.

Please be aware that some participants in this film (below) address subjects, including rape, which some viewers may find emotionally difficult or triggering.