Review: Liberty’s Secret

Cara AnnMarie and Jaclene Wilk in Liberty's Secret

Liberty’s Secret is an indie flick. It’s the brain child of Andy Kirshner, who wrote, directed, acted in, and composed the music for it. It’s a musical. I’m a sucker for a musical. This musical is a love song to love – same sex love.

Jaclene Wilk stars as Liberty Smith. She’s a small town girl who sings in her father’s (Chris Lutkin) church. The idiot Senator Weston (John Lepard) happens into her church on the campaign trail as a photo op. His team quickly realizes that the squeaky clean Liberty Smith with her beautiful singing voice and charming smile could revive his campaign.

They convince the Reverend Smith to let his daughter go with them by promising that she’ll be personally watched over by Nikki Levine (Cara AnnMarie). Nobody tells the Reverend that Nikki is a lesbian.

Liberty becomes YouTube famous overnight and sings her way into the voters’ hearts. She’s interviewed on TV by the talking head played by Andy Kirshner in a really bad toupee. She does well. Everyone knows her face.

Liberty spends all her time with Nikki. Nikki falls for Liberty. And Liberty falls for Nikki.

When Liberty and Nikki kiss for the first time, someone takes their photo. The publicity is intense for the Senator. His surrogate is a lesbian! Is he changing his position on same sex marriage?

Liberty goes home. Her father puts her in conversion treatment to make her straight. The lengthy song and dance that were her conversion therapy were the funniest moments in the film.

The Reverend receives a visit from Yolanda (Alfrelynn J. Roberts), Nikki’s friend and another advisor to the Senator. Yolanda sings the hate right outta his heart, just as Liberty and Nikki find each other again. Since Daddy now gets that love is love, they will be together.

There’s a beautiful, fairy tale wedding with Jewish/Christian symbolism. The song that creates the wedding is the most realistic love song I’ve ever heard. Of course, our two lovers will definitely live happily ever after.

Liberty’s Secret is so obviously a zero budget indie. The actors are adequate, not great. The songs are adequate to advance the plot, but not great. They carry the message. The singing is good.

Liberty’s Secret doesn’t feel like a typical small film. It feels like it belongs in community theater – put on by a troupe with a reputation and a loyal following in their community from LGBTQ theatergoers. It would be a hit in places like that – a full house every performance. I can see it playing in community playhouses for years to come all over the country.

As a film, this low budget lesbian musical probably won’t be a huge hit, although a lot of viewers will love it.

In spite of its shortcomings, it works. It has music, it has a message, it has heart.

If a musical tribute to the evils of politics and the beauty of love sounds like your cup of tea, give it a look. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the film if you see it.

It’s available on Amazon Video: Liberty’s Secret.

Watch the trailers

Liberty’s Secret Official Trailer from Andy Kirshner on Vimeo.

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