PICK Outrage: Gays in the Republican Closet? We’re Shocked!

Director Kirby Dick doesn't actually stick his camera under any Capitol Hill bathroom stalls in this new documentary, but his goal is more or less the same: to catch closeted gay politicians with their pants down. Call it yellow (or is that pink?) journalism if you must, but as Outrage persuasively argues, it comes not to invade its subjects' personal lives but instead to hold them accountable for their hypocrisy. It outs so that it can in turn rage against these Janus-faced men of the people who play to their Christian conservative base while lobbying for another sort of approval in gay bars and chat rooms. As in his previous Twist of Faith and This Film Is Not Yet Rated, Dick approaches his subject with little of the self-righteous effrontery of Michael Moore, maintaining a modicum of objective distance and even mustering a certain sympathy for the accused. The film presents a mixture of mostly extant innuendo and some new wrinkles, with perhaps the most damaging claims leveled against current Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who has been bandied about as a 2012 Republican presidential candidate. Moment by moment, Outrage proves provocative, well-sourced, and almost certain to go more viral than swine flu. But Dick's film is ultimately most resonant for what it says about the infernal entanglement of church and state and our desire to believe in the white-picket surfaces of things.

 
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