These last few years, anyone who has been paying attention knows that many conservative American politicians are also deeply closeted gays. The votes of people like Scott Foley and Larry Craig now seem like the saddest proclamation of self-hate, stripping a portion of Americans—including themselves—of equal rights.
Kirby Dick has shaped an intriguing documentary about this, aggregating vast stores of information into a film that is appropriate in scope, fresh in perspective and polished in editing. The director has not only secured some great interviews with the people on the inside and the people trying to bring an end to such complicity. More importantly, Dick allows the film to explore how this self-denial and internalized homophobia occur. Outrage may even be empathetic to these self-deluded officials, but it also doesn’t shy away from how such activity denies equal rights and supports violence against gays.
There are a couple small missteps. A supposed conspiracy between politicians and the media is handled so lackadaisically that it almost shouldn’t be brought up. Outrage also sees the crusaders who drag others out of the closet as heroes fighting against the mishandling the AIDS crisis and stripping the LGBT community of its rights. Yet, it would be nice to know what drives these activists personally and what lines they themselves will not cross. Instead, after a while, some of these social soldiers sound slightly petty and a bit gossipy.
Finally, Outrage should be required viewing for anyone interested in how conservatives have politically segregated the LGBT community to be an enemy of the rest of America. All throughout the documentary are equal amounts of righteous indignation and heart, hating the hypocritical sins but being fair to the sinners. This approach makes for a stimulating and vital film.
‘Outrage,’ now playing at Enzian Theater in Maitland.