Every once in a while, the way a documentary is attempting to stack the deck crushes my natural inclination to agree with the film's politics. That happens in Roger Ross Williams' look at how cultural conservatism in predominantly-Christian Uganda—particularly recent laws targeting homosexuality—is the result of a concerted effort by fundamentalist missionary groups in the U.S. It's a reality unlikely to be familiar to most people, and there was rich potential for Williams to look at the way far-right politics are manifesting themselves in another country. But he goes over-the-top in his attempts to make the Kansas City-based International House of Prayer and its Ugandan disciples look ridiculous—dwelling on images of church members speaking in tongues or writhing in ecstasy during services; playing to the idea that a church leader who confesses that he once had a pornography addiction must be some kind of hypocrite; making sure we see the opulent home of a prominent Ugandan pastor—and in so doing loses track of the way anti-gay sentiment in Uganda has turned particularly deadly. Maybe try forcing these young missionaries who sincerely believe they're saving souls to confront the real-world consequences of the beliefs they espouse, instead of pointing a camera at them and assuming their faith makes them villains. (Scott Renshaw)
- Genres: documentary
- Running Time: 90 min.
- Release Date: Friday, January 18,2013
- MPAA Rating: NR
- Directed by: Roger Ross Williams
- Watch the trailer