Movie of the week – Milk

I saw the film ‘Milk’ this week and I would highly recommend it. This Gus Van Sant film is about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to political office in the United States.

The film covers the last eight years of Milk’s life, beginning on his fortieth birthday.

Harvey Milk is played by Sean Penn who does give the performance of a lifetime, totally deserving of his Best Actor Oscar. Penn is incredibly energetic and captivating as Milk and presents the viewer with a man who transcends his own sexuality to become a great crusader for the most basic of all human rights – the right to be yourself.

Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco’s board of supervisors, what we might call its city council in 1977. This was when the gay rights movement was a growing but largely untested force in American politics. Milk’s achievement was not merely to be elected but to be elected on a platform of gay-rights activism at a time when right-wing religious conservatives and their media supporters were ruthlessly ranged against him. The film will help you to understand the context in which Margaret Atwood began preparing to write the ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’

Milk served only 11 months before he and the city’s mayor George Moscone were shot in their offices and killed. However, his legacy lives on as the film demonstrates.

‘Milk’ is an uplifting, inspiring true story and one of the best films of the year.

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