Friday, 5 December 2008

Milk- great film

Harvey Milk

I know it's a bit off topic, but on Tuesday night I went to the preview screening of Milk, the moving story of the life and death of Harvey Milk, America's first openly gay politician. Qnews sponsored the preview in Brisbane.

Harvey Milk ended up living in San Francisco (where else?) and spearheaded the gay rights movement there and was an inspiration for many throughout the US and throughout the world.

Sean Penn was superb in the title role, and seemed to capture all the nuances of the character.

In the course of the film, Harvey Milk challenges Proposition 6 which was sponsored by a cohort of then right wing activist Anita Bryant, which sought to throw teachers out of school if they were gay or lesbian, or if they were supported of gays and lesbians.

The story demonstrated why people power can be such a powerful force for change.

Hearing about Proposition 6 reminded me very much of the current struggles in California arising from Proposition 8, which was partly sponsored by the Mormon Church. It surprised me that Ronald Reagan, of all people, was opposed to Proposition 6, which he considered unnecessary.

The most touching moment for me, however, was not in the film itself. It was seeing a friend of mine afterwards, tears welling up in his eyes, tell me that he knew two of the men in the film, saw them in the film (as they played themselves) and had been inspired by them years ago to be an activist.

Harvey Milk is due to be released at the end of January.

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