Sometimes funny but mostly upsetting.
Duane Simolke | Lubbock, TX USA | 10/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Director Arthur Dong is perhaps best known for his documentary Licensed To Kill, in which he probed the minds of people who murder others for being gay. Though Coming Out Under Fire at least has flashes of humor, it is equally upsetting in the dark secrets that it reveals. Dong shows not only the long tradition of gays in America's military but also their tradition of serving with distinction before meeting with betrayal."
How far we haven't come
Jon Hunt | Old Greenwich, Ct. USA | 12/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Coming Out Under Fire", a short but reflective documentary based on a book of the same name by the late Allan Berube, gives heed to what is still one of the most egregious governmental policies in existence today....."Don't Ask, Don't Tell". The film, where surviving members of the military discuss their service during the Second World War, is at times empathetic but often maddening. The final exchange between Senator John Warner and Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer regarding the implementation of this policy ends the film with a bang.
This is a film that offers up how little progress has been made over the years regarding gays serving in the military. As many of these veterans had to lie to avoid persecution from within the military ranks and prosecution from without, "Coming Out Under Fire" also reminds us of how gays who serve today still have to keep mum about their sexual orientation to stay in the service. It's a good and necessary film, and I highly recommend it."
The Vets Deserved a More Thoughtful Explanation
tamiii | San Juan Capistrano, Ca. United States | 07/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The highlight is touching interviews with World War II veterans, four gay and one lesbian, and the persecution they suffered. Unfortunately, the film remains simplistic, tracing the source of the world war military's policy, subsequent McCarthyite persecutions, and current 'no kiss and tell' policy to the medicalization of homosexuality. The filmakers failed to connect the military's policy to American gender relations during the same period."