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Movie Review: 'Dear Jesse'

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In Dear Jesse, young gay filmmaker Tim Kirkman heads for his home state of North Carolina to find out how people really feel about their longtime senator Jesse Helms. Since Kirkman makes it clear how he feels, this isn’t exactly an objective inquiry. It’s actually a more polite variation on the Michael Moore approach: The agenda may be politically correct, but it’s still, well, political. He’s nevertheless found plenty of persuasive voices to reinforce his message — including Helms himself, seen here declaring that if homosexuals would ”stop what they’re doing, there would not be one additional case of AIDS in the United States of America.” The video also includes an interview with Matthew Sheppard, who was murdered a few months after the film’s theatrical release: It makes the perfect postscript for Kirkman’s examination of intolerance.