Homosexuality continues to be one of the most divisive issues facing the United States, which is sad because we're a nation supposedly based on the ideals of "freedom and liberty for all." Regardless of how you feel morally about the issue, there should be no arguments over whether it's fair to discriminate people who were born with the genetic code that attracts them to members of their own sex. Sadly, the issue has become a political one, with advocates in the Republican Party leading the charge to limit the rights of select American citizens. Strangely, some of these advocates are gay themselves.
In the documentary Outrage, filmmaker Kirby Dick (This Film Is Not Yet Rated) explores this phenomenon, taking a specific look at the politicians who lie to their families, constituents and themselves to fight against their very being. It's truly sad that these men are so disgusted by what they are - or more interested in getting elected than doing what's right - that they would actively campaign against homosexuals, even when they are gay themselves. I've used the word "sad" several times already in this review, but it is the emotion that comes to mind. At some point in the future, the U.S. and the world will look back on such discrimination the way we do our discrimination against blacks over the last 200 years. But we're not there yet.
Clearly, this is an issue near and dear to my heart, and it's nice to see Dick take it on in Outrage. It's always satisfying to see a politician or religious icon who has advocated against homosexuality be revealed, in some way or another, as a hypocrite. Ted Haggard comes to mind. Larry Craig, featured in the movie, definitely comes to mind.
The documentary is well made and to the point, attacking the politicians who defy their own being. Dick explores the contradictory nature of their lives and the political ramifications of such men. The movie, at only 90 minutes long, moves along at a brisk pace, though it primarily highlights politicians and circumstances I already knew about. It's fun to rehash the memories, but the movie doesn't delve too deeply on the topic. I'm not sure what else Dick could have done, but there's nothing in Outrage that appears to go above and beyond.
Nonetheless, Outrage outlines a sad and real problem in U.S. politics. The movie will be more valuable for people less knowledgeable on the issue, but those that are probably won't go out of their way to see it. Still, the movie is worth seeing, but it doesn't offer anything new.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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