We begin with a civil partnership in the UK. It’s a sign of how far this country has come in terms of gay rights. But it’s also tinged with sadness; the rest of this film sees Stephen Fry visiting Uganda, Hollywood and several points between. And along the way, he finds plenty of cause for concern.
His conversation with an aggressively homophobic pastor would be an absurdist comedy classic were its implications not so horrifying for gay Ugandans. There’s more of the usual bilge from an American therapist who claims to be able to reverse or cure homosexuality. And, even at the heart of the American film industry, there’s a man teaching gay performers to act straight for casting reasons. Thankfully, there’s hope too; the people working in Uganda’s Icebreakers clinic – which offers sexual health treatment to gay patients in defiance of the country’s draconian laws – are bona fide heroes and it’s great to see them recognised as such.
Modulating adroitly between impeccable politeness, probing logic and occasionally, outright scorn, Fry handles the assignments well – wish him luck because in the second episode, he’s off to Russia.