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; as Outrage persuasively argues, it comes not to invade its subjects’ personal lives but 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. Dick maintains a modicum of objective distance and even musters 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 Gov. 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.

Categories: Movies