Boldly revealing the hidden lives of some of the United States most powerful policymakers, Outrage takes a comprehensive look at the harm they've inflicted on millions of Americans, and examines the media s complicity in keeping their secrets. Outrage probes deeply into the psychology of this double lifestyle, the ethics of outing closeted politicians, the double
standards that the media upholds in its coverage of the sex lives of gay public figures, and much more.
Filmmaker Kirby Dick’s fine balance of documentary rigor and muckraking returns with Outrage
, a blistering investigation into closeted gay politicians who push anti-gay legislation to hide their own sexual impulses. You might expect such a documentary to collapse in a heap of strident accusations, but though the hypocrisy is appalling--particularly when it squashed funding for AIDS research and contributed to thousands of deaths--Outrage
skillfully avoids hysteria, finding humor and even compassion in its examination of the lives of Republican Senator Larry Craig, New York Mayor Ed Koch, and others. The documentary also explores other facets of the issue, including the abundance of gay journalists who help maintain the cloak of secrecy and the wives who, sometimes knowingly and sometimes in denial, provide the illusion of conventional heterosexual harmony. The testimonies of politicians who came out while in office, like Republican Rep. Jim Kolbe and Democratic Governor of New Jersey James McGreevey, is particularly moving and illustrates the complexity of the American political scene. Outrage
is most damning of the Bush/Cheney administration, which used gay marriage as a hot-button issue to manipulate social conservatives. All in all, a compelling example of fervent but intelligent journalism, applied to what has become a core issue of this political moment. --Bret Fetzer