Friday, November 6, 2009

Outrage - DVD Review


Directed by Kirby Dick.

This movie's opening credits start with the interview audio between Sen. Larry Craig and his arresting officer for that tap-dancing in the bathroom incident. Once the credits are done, these words brandish on the screen:

"There exists a brilliantly orchestrated conspiracy to keep gay and lesbian politicians as closeted as possible. This conspiracy is so powerful the media will not cover it, even though it profoundly harms many Americans. This film is about politicians who live in the closet, those who have escaped it, and the people who work to end its tyranny."

"Its" tyranny, I assume at the beginning of the film, is the tyranny of the conspiracy. So who are the tyrants behind the conspiracy? The bar's been set high.

The film proceeds to produce evidence, testimonials and so forth, to officially out Sen. Larry Craig (R), Gov. Charlie Crist (R), Rep. Jim McCrery (R), Rep. David Dreier (R), Ken Mehlman (R), and former politicians like Terry Dolan (R), Ed Schrock (R), and token (D) Ed Koch, targetting these individuals because they were or are in power and voted against gay marriage or other gay issues while holding such power.

The movie argues that there's nothing worse for gay rights than a closeted self-hating gay in politics. This movie's main enemy is hypocrisy, and one of its biggest villains is Mary Cheney, out but still voted for Bush and her dad.

But then the movie commits its own hypocrisy. It outs Fox News reporter Shepard Smith. Shep's not a politician. I really don't get why they included Shep. Because Anderson Cooper works for CNN, he's off the hook? Meh, doesn't matter. Those specified here have already had rumors about them for years, maybe decades.

What I would have really wish they would have delved into is what would make a closeted gay go into politics. In fact this movie made me wonder about many issues it hinted at before it moved on. What about the psyche of one who would beat up a gay guy just to prove he's not gay himself? It gets a teary-eyed interview with NJ Gov. Jim McGreevey, forced out of the closet after an extortion scandal, but the more compelling, credible interview comes from his ex-wife Dina Mattos, immortalized as standing by her man in that painful press conference.

In the end, there is no "brilliantly orchestrated conspiracy" that Dick is able to prove or display, except the general disposition of Americans to not vote for openly gay candidates, Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin being two talking-head exceptions. There are no tyrants, other than Dubya, who supported the Defense of Marriage Act. It's more gossip than expose, but some of the interviewees, such as the now-out Republicans like Jim Kolbe, are pretty interesting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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