‘27 guns’ hits the screens

Saturday September 22 2018

27 Guns

Poster for '27 Guns'. The film depicts the armed struggle in Uganda that led to President Yoweri Museveni taking power. PHOTO | COURTESY | 27 GUNS  

BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI
By BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI
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The eagerly awaited film 27 Guns depicting President Yoweri Museveni’s armed liberation struggle is showing at Cinema Magic, Metroplex Mall in Naalya, Kampala.

The movie, which premiered on September 8, is a biopic based on the events of the National Resistance Army (NRA) liberation struggle.

The young fighters set off with little more than discipline and courage, buoyed by the indomitable spirit of an oppressed people and launched a protracted guerrilla war.

The film opened to the public on September 13, and will show for three weeks.

Armed with just 27 guns, the rebels attacked Kabamba military barracks in Mubende district on February 6,1981, launching their armed struggle against the governments of Apollo Milton Obote and Tito Okello Lutwa.

The two-and-half hour action packed adventure dramatises battles between the rebels and the government that eventually led to the NRA capturing power on January 26, 1986.

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Although the movie has good footage and sound, the story does not capture the true picture of some of the events at the time that were synonymous with the struggle.

For example, we do not see the rebels in shabby and torn clothes. The famous child soldiers known as kadogos, who played a major role in the rebellion, are not portrayed in the film.

President Milton Obote is seen addressing his officials with a mobile phone on his desk. Mobile phone technology had not yet reached Uganda then.

The same character plays the roles of Dr Kizza Besigye and Dr Ronald Bata who were treating the injured. Some scenes are unnecessarily long.

For example, scenes of dead bodies of those killed by government soldiers on a private farm roll on without any explanation or subtitles.

27 Guns is acted in English, Kiswahili, Luganda and Runyankole, with English subtitles. The film’s soundtrack includes folk music from the Ankole.

The main characters are Arnold Mubangizi (as Yoweri Museveni), Diana Kamuntu (Janet Kataaha Museveni), Jonnie Magyezi (Fred Rwigyema), Ayent T. Steve (Maj Gen Julius Oketta), Kenny Katuramu (Pecos Kutesa), and Jenkins Mutumba (Elly Tumwine).

Sezi Jedediah Nuwewenka plays the role of Salim Saleh (Gen Caleb Akandwanaho), the president’s brother.

It was directed by Natasha Karugire and Sharpe Ssewali. Karugire borrows from President Museveni’s autobiography Sowing the Mustard Seed.

Karugire and Esteri Akandwanaho, a daughter and niece of President Museveni respectively, produced 27 Guns under their company Isaiah60 Productions. 27 Guns is their first production.

At the premiere, President Museveni praised Karugire for doing a commendable job.

Karugire said it was time for Africans to remove the clamps from their mouths and tell their own stories through music, literature and fashion.

“Our heritage does not have to be validated by foreigners,” she said.

The premiere was also attended by First Lady Janet Museveni, government officials and comrades from the NRA struggle.