Hot Docs review: Someone Like Me

Sean Horlor and Steve J. Adams's documentary about a queer refugee from Uganda and his Canadian sponsors hits home


SOMEONE LIKE ME (Sean Horlor, Steve J. Adams, Canada). 80 minutes. Rating: NNNN


A look at Canadian refugee sponsorship that opens up into something larger, Someone Like Me follows a group of Vancouver residents from different backgrounds (and generations) who come together via the Rainbow Refugee Society in the fall of 2019 to sponsor a queer refugee from Uganda. It’s a righteous cause, but one that becomes far more complex once 22-year-old Drake arrives, and the group splinters over how much he should be encouraged to live his authentic life.

The group’s expectations of Drake are contrasted with Drake’s own expectations of Canada, and gradually directors Horlor and Adams reveal a larger metaphor of transition – as expressed in the parallel narrative of Kay and Emily, two of Drake’s sponsors (and the couple who take him in when he arrives). They’re negotiating a major change as well, and Someone Like Me gracefully folds it into a larger examination of the confidence – and the comfort – that comes with being seen.

Available to watch here. Live Q&A with Drake, Kay and Emily, and filmmakers Horlor and Adams Saturday (May 8) at 7 pm. Free with registration.

@normwilner

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