Screened as part of NZIFF 2023

Bobi Wine: The People’s President 2022

Directed by Christopher Sharp, Moses Bwayo Political States

An extraordinary story of a Ugandan pop-star politician who risks everything to take on a brutal autocrat, told with a rare and potent intimacy.

Jul 28

Academy Cinemas

Jul 29

The Bridgeway Cinema

Jul 31

Academy Cinemas

Aug 02

Rialto Cinemas Newmarket

Uganda In English and Luganda with English subtitles
114 minutes Colour / DCP


Christopher Sharp
John Battsek


Sam Benstead
Moses Bwayo
Michele Sibiloni


Paul Carlin


Dan Jones


Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine
Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi


IDFA 2022; CPH:DOX 2023


At once astonishing, exhilarating and deeply moving, Bobi Wine: The People’s President charts the remarkable rise of pop-star-turned-charismatic leader of the Ugandan opposition movement. Despite intimidation, imprisonment and vicious state violence, Bobi—real name Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu—inspires millions to join in defiance of Yoweri Museveni, whose regime has gripped fiercely to power since seizing control in a 1986 coup.

The mass rallies on the campaign trail are breathtaking: “the promise is intoxicating,” as one reporter puts it. Propelled by a soundtrack of Bobi Wine’s afrobeat protest songs and spanning more than five years in the leadup to the 2021 election, directors Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo take us right to the heart of the exuberant, hazardous, indomitable action that surrounds the self-styled “ghetto president”. That proximity extends into the family home of Bobi, his inspirational wife Barbie Kyagulanyi, and their four children. Here the stakes of the mission take on an achingly intimate, affecting dimension. — Toby Manhire

“In the scope of other 2022 political documentaries, Bobi Wine: The People’s President has the most in common with Daniel Roher’s Navalny (NZIFF 2022), about a politician who ran against Putin… It has a similar, almost unbelievable, and powerful spirit of not giving in when governmental forces threaten you and rule with no control. This is a profile of unfathomable courage that deserves to be seen, in part to honour those who supported the film’s supply of footage and cannot be listed in the Credit for fear of repercussion. It is a testament to not giving up and the strength of a people united—not just by a song, but by a deep belief in a just future.” — Nick Allen, The Playlist