Exclaim!

Outrage

Kirby Dick

Outrage
Approach this documentary by parsing the title into "out" and "rage." Director Kirby Dick is renowned for exposing society's ugly secrets, whether it's sexual abuse in the Catholic church (Twist of Faith) or Hollywood's self-censorship (This Film Is Not Yet Rated). Here, he takes aim at closeted gay U.S. Politicians who support anti-gay legislation. Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, California Rep. David Dreier and Dick Cheney's daughter, Mary, are traitors and hypocrites, says the film. His critics will call this muckraking, but Dick makes a persuasive case that outing these powerful people is justified. As state governors and members of congress, these politicians deny other gays essential freedoms, from marriage to adoption. Most are Republicans who are supported by the anti-gay Christian Right. Meanwhile, the mainstream media (including gay right-wing pundits) have failed to address this hypocrisy. Dick aims to upset people and the DVD's bonus features do a good job of extending the discussion beyond his film. The most interesting is a 33-minute extended roundtable discussion at the Tribeca Film Festival. Dick and three gay activists who appear in the film spar with the audience, who passionately debate the ethics of outing closeted politicians. A much shorter Q&A from a Washington festival touches on similar ground. Dick himself freely explores the issues raised in his film on the DVD's audio commentary. Joined by producer Amy Ziering, he also explains his motives and filmmaking process on his generous commentary. Three light-hearted deleted scenes offer comic relief. This is a DVD that pushes its audience's buttons. (Mongrel Media)
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