C. Baptiste-Williams at 8:00 AM Labels: entertainment, gay, politics, reviews
As the angry voices bitch and complain about why Proposition 8 repealed the rights for gay Californians to marry, a film that recalls a similar battle 30 years ago has made its way into theaters.
This Friday, I had the opportunity to catch the Gus Van Sant film, Milk. Excellently played by Sean Penn, Harvey Milk's story begins in 1970, in New York, where the straight-laced, closeted gay man, who happens to be a Republican meets a younger man on a subway platform. Although it seems to be like an impossible connection between the two, Milk's quirky personality captures Scott played by James Franco back to his house and eventually in his life. They relocate to San Francisco's Castro neighborhood which is just becoming the gay district we know now. After leading a gay boycott of homophobic businesses and helping unionize Coors beer company, Milk sets out on several unsuccessful attempts at an elected office.
Seeing this film is based on a true story, we know that Milk is eventually sworn into office in January of 1978. This is where the story turns to Milk's involvement in the defeat of the then Proposition 6, a law that would allow people to be fired from their jobs because they were gay or supported gays. A proposition which was familiarly promoted by religious fanatics that love to think their fundamental religious beliefs rule, when however this country which was actually built on separation of church and state and religious freedom. Harvey Milk's voice of hope and change made him a major figure in the battle against social intolerance, but he unfortunately never lived to see the major changes his modest, yet, political triumph helped facilitate.
What I loved about the film, was first a story that I was unfamiliar with but found very important in our history and at the same time very appropriate for what is going on now. But also Penn's portrayal of Harvey Milk was excellent. I love when you loose a recognizable actor to the person they are playing, and Penn does this flawlessly. I definitely recommend this film and will probably see it again.