Some softened by age and sadness, others loud and angry, the voices of the survivors of Canada's public service and military homosexual purge are now united and determined.
After the Second World War, Canada, and much of the Western world, became preoccupied with national security. Against the backdrop of Cold War paranoia, Canada began investigating federal employees who might be susceptible to blackmail by Soviet spies. Homosexuality, along with drunkenness and adultery, was considered a “character weakness” and became grounds for surveillance and interrogation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police under the directive of the newly established Security Panel. Over the course of four decades, thousands of men and women had their privacy invaded and their careers ruined.
The despair born in those pop-up interrogation rooms has long-paralyzed these public servants and military members. The Fruit Machine is their film, a story of hope and of a country's struggle to do the right thing.