Tears of a Clown

The Eyes of Tammy Faye teaches us that garish televangelists have feelings too

Tammy Faye Bakker-Messner in The Eyes of Tammy Faye: No satire can top it.
Tammy Faye Bakker-Messner in The Eyes of Tammy Faye: No satire can top it.

Ah, but regardless of whether or not you agree with directors Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey on everything, you can't not love a documentary that traces a life so far beyond parody that it's almost impossible to believe. And while the sock puppets that introduce each segment get tiresome after a while, they're perfectly in keeping with the spirit of things. Tammy Faye's legacy is one of those uniquely American pop-cultural artifacts -- like Twinkies or Howdy Doody -- that will continue to irritate some, amuse others, and simply baffle foreigners who wonder what all the fuss is about. This film is as good a way as any to relive the phenomenon.

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