Compared To What: The Improbable Journey Of Barney Frank

An intimate portrait of recently retired Congressman Barney Frank, one of our most well-known and least understood political figures, this documentary alternates between deeply personal moments and the inner workings of our political process. Rare archival material and interviews reveal the emotional pain and harmful effects of a closeted life, the relief of coming out and the triumph of love through the Congressman's historic same-sex marriage. Frank's journey is our country's journey, a classic American story about a dedicated public servant who never loses hope.


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  • ★★★★½ review by Ken Rudolph on Letterboxd

    If there is any true hero of the left, for my money it has to be Barney Frank. He served in Congress for many years, many of them regretfully and spirit-killingly in the closet. Yet, he has been perhaps the most influential gay politician of our time. This documentary tells the intimate story of his life. His feistiness, his incisive intelligence, his undiminished support of the downtrodden working people and LGBTQ people of all strips are legendary. The film uses numerous clips from newscasts and interviews. But it also delves into Frank's personal life. I have rarely cried at weddings; but when he and his partner were married in a ceremony amusingly presided over by the governor of Massachusetts, I was in tears. This is a deeply moving, smartly edited documentary about a contemporary of mine (a year older) who paid more than his dues. And let me end this review with a quote from a Barney speech that he gave supporting Joe Kennedy, Bobby's son, for Congress. "Vote Democratic...we may not be perfect, but they're nuts!" Bravo, Barney. Bravo filmmakers.

  • ★★★½ review by Edwin Davies on Letterboxd

    Thorough and heartwarming doc about the life and career of Barnett Frank which ends up paying respectful tribute to his achievements, and inadvertently stands as an elegy for a mildly more civil era of politics.

  • ★★★★ review by Gregory Wood on Letterboxd

    reel good bio-doc

  • ★★★★ review by colino111 on Letterboxd

    I'm glad I stumbled across this documentary it did a great job of bringing a great political figure that has been working for his state and country for 40 years to the attention of the public I wish I new about him before and he gives me hope that Washington is not filled with spineless yes men that only care about themselves I definitely don't agree with all of his views but I fully hope more politicians can act and care like he did. And just as a side note Frank might of missed his calling as a comedian what a funny guy and without need of speech writers

  • ★★★★ review by jerry hudson on Letterboxd

    very good documentary. give understanding of his life and politics. while showing how diificult he could be.

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