Dear Jesse | Chicago Reader

Dear Jesse

Tim Kirkman, who says his hometown in North Carolina reminds him of TV's Mayberry, takes us there to explore the impact of Senator Jesse Helms on the state, the nation, gay rights, and the filmmaker's identity. This documentary's tag line—“One of these men is gay. The other is obsessed with gay men”—is a clever summary of the concept behind the movie, whose clear agenda is to expose the hypocrisy that keeps Helms in office. But as Kirkman meanders between the political and the personal, it's hard to imagine his efforts persuading anyone who doesn't already agree that Helms is a menace.

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