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Still not silent.

Few Hollywood blockbusters have had the impact of 1995's Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story--the true tale of a 25-year Army veteran (Glenn Close) dismissed for coming out as a lesbian. The movie attracted more than 25 million viewers when it debuted on NBC and won Emmys for Close, costar Judy Davis, and screenwriter Alison Cross.

Then it went unseen for 10 years.

It's gratifying that the long-awaited DVD release features behind-the-scenes interviews with the likes of executive producer Barbra Streisand and coverage from the 1996 GLAAD Media Awards. But is the movie itself still relevant?

Absolutely, says Cammermeyer. "We're now having a war against our own people who fight for fights and liberties in other countries but are denied [them] at home. Congress needs to act on the Military Readiness Enhancement Act to overturn 'don't ask, don't tell' so that people are judged on the merit of work that they do so well in serving this country."

Adds executive producer Neil Meron, "I'd like to think we've come a long way and that there's been change, but there hasn't been that much--in fact, there [have been] steps back. We're becoming more conservative. Gay marriage is as 'hot button' now as serving in the military was then, and it's being defeated all across the country."

Though mainstream television appears to have been making strides in including gay and lesbian characters, Serving in Silence executive producer Craig Zadan feels network television is actually less accepting of gay content now than 10 years ago. "You couldn't make [Serving in Silence] today and have it air," he says, "because networks other than cable won't air it."

And if there's one institution that still needs a kick in the pants, he adds, it's the military, with its continued support of "don't ask, don't tell"--a policy "everyone involved with the film would like to see struck down."
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Title Annotation:Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story
Author:Milne, Carly
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Video recording review
Date:Sep 12, 2006
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