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Hey Kids, we were pleased to catch up with the director of the bold, controversial new documentary, Outrage, which was one of the most talked-about features at the Tribeca Film Festival.  We chatted with director Kirby Dick in the Direct TV Filmmakers Lounge about the secret lives of closeted gay politicians.

 

Outrage

Director Kirby Dick

 

The Lady Miz Diva:  How did you choose the politicians that you focused on?

Kirby Dick:  Basically, we were looking at subjects over about 20 or 25 years.  We chose these subjects because these were the ones that we could really get corroboration on and substantiation on.  There are other people that are probably gay that rise to this level of hypocrisy, but there was just the amount of information out there at least at this point for me to report on.

 

LMD:  Were your concerns about having that information more from a legal point of view or a journalistic one?

KD:  It was more of a journalistic standpoint. I really wanted to get the story right. 

 

LMD:  There’s so much buzz about the film already, have you prepared yourself for a potential firestorm when this film is released?

KD:  Well, you can never really prepare yourself, but I encourage multiple reactions to this film because this is my perspective, but what I hope is it generates discussion, because then these issues can be worked out in a public forum. That’s what I want.

 

LMD:  Have you had any backlash or reaction from either the people you spotlight like Governor Crist or former Mayor Koch?

KD:  Not at this point.  They’re very savvy politicians and they got to where they got to by ignoring this issue.  You never know, but I would be surprised if there was a reaction.

 

LMD:  There’s a lot of debate about outing, is it appropriate, is it an invasion of privacy? Does Outrage give the message that outing is a positive thing?

KD:  We sort of drew a bright line in out film. This is not a film about outing gay politicians, this is a film about the hypocrisy of closeted gay politicians who vote anti-gay.  Sometimes I think the debate about outing obscures the more important issues; the hypocrisy, the toll of the closet, even the psychological toll of the closet, as well.  That was another element of this film that was very important. 

 

LMD:  Do you think any of the politicians like Jim McGreevey, who did come out as a result of being outed would have done so without that push?

KD:  They certainly would’ve wanted to.  To me, that was one of the uplifting things about the film is that they realised that – even {Congressman} Jim Kolbe, who’s opposed to outing, realised that he did take one step ahead and came out himself, but it was maybe the most important decision he ever made in his life.  I think it can be a real powerful example to other young people going into politics.

 

LMD:  How long did it take to make Outrage?

KD:  It took a little over two years.  I conceived of the idea about two months before the Mark Foley scandal and was shooting about four months before Larry Craig.  Everything was coming down as this was going on.  When I conceived of the idea, I was surprised that a film hadn’t been made on this.  Immediately, it just seemed like this was so rich.

 

~ The Lady Miz Diva

April 25th, 2009

 

 

 

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Photos

Exclusive photos by LMD

Film stills courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

 

Director Kirby Dick and Producer Amy Ziering Kofman

 

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