As his 2006 documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated made clear, filmmaker Kirby Dick is nothing if not tenacious. Chronicling the formation and "secret history" of the Motion Picture Association of America, This Film... found him doing every legal thing in his power—hiring a full-time private eye, digging through curbside garbage—to expose the truth about the MPAA, from its endlessly iffy ratings system to the identities of the secret ratings board. Dick's ultimate goal: to expose the biases, lies, and hypocrisy polluting the group responsible for policing America's movie screens.
Three years later comes Outrage, which finds Dick devoting a similar procedural tenacity to a far more explosive subject: America's closeted gay politicians, whose conflicting histories of "secret" homosexual activity and public anti-gay legislation have long taunted those who know of both. Historically, the subject of closeted politicians has proven so distasteful that general media outlets wouldn't touch it, but Dick (who's straight, by the way) wisely seizes this moment of unprecedented support for gay equality to dissolve the glass closet and name names. Among the subjects: former Idaho senator Larry Craig and Florida governor Charlie Crist (both professed heterosexuals with public histories of homosexuality and ugly anti-gay voting records), as well as former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey and former Arizona congressman Jim Kolbe, both of whom preempted public outings by outing themselves and who supply the film with valuable insights on post-closet life. (McGreevey's major contribution: proving that an unctuous ex–closet case can be just as creepy as an unctuous closet case.)
But the majority of the film is devoted to the Craigs and the Crists, whose brazen, bullheaded mendacity increasingly inspires nothing so much as pity. In the perverse closed-circuit world of the closet, gay politicians create laws to sustain the anti-gay world they use as a reason to remain in the closet. Will the revolutionary plainspokenness of Outrage put an end to the farce? Time will tell, literally: Outrage star Charlie Crist has just announced his bid for the Senate.