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Dear Jesse

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I had forgotten about this film but this weekend's passing of Jesse Helms reminded me that filmmaker, Tim Kirkman, made a documentary about Jesse Helms that was partially shot and based here in Charlotte in the early 90s. Kirkman, who is from the same hometown as Helms, Monroe, wanted to do a film about Helm's positions on Gays and Lesbians when he was in office.

I present this here for your edification not to discuss the politics of it, but rather because the film, offers some, what could be considered "vintage" views of late 20th century Charlotte. There are also a number of local Charlotte people interviewed in the film and it puts forth a mostly positive view of the city in the midst of a fairly negative, IMO, sea of hostility found in NC at that time. I don't remember if any of the local politicians of the time appeared in the film.

This film was screened in all the big cities in the USA when it came out, and there was also a small screening here in Charlotte that was put on by the now defunct Charlotte Gay and Lesbian film festival. None of the local theatres would show it. I believe it shows up from time to time on either Sundance or IFC if you get those channels. Else there is now a DVD.

Here is a trailer for the movie. (If you look closely you will see a Charlotte protest march concerning the arts.)

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