Wednesday, November 26, 2008

'Milk,' Does a Body (and Soul) Good

A.O. Scott's review of "Milk" is in today's Times and -- deep breath -- it's a RAVE. I saw the film last Tuesday and I couldn't agree more. It works equally well for people who have never heard of Harvey Milk (educational and entertaining) and people who know all there is to know (Sean Penn has Milk's friends doing double-takes and James Franco's touching portrayal of Scott Smith brings a human element to the gay rights martyr that was intentionally omitted from the Oscar-winning documentary, "The Times of Harvey Milk.") Despite its tragic outcome, just seeing the camaraderie Milk and his fellow San Francisco activist friends shared during that pivotal time in our history brought to the life washed those Prop 8 blues right out of my hair and reignited my resolve not to give up hope.

While my gut instinct was to urge my mom (and other loved ones) to see "Milk," after talking to her this week and realizing she'd never even heard of him (heck, many of my gay friends haven't either, so I'm not faulting her), I decided to buy her a copy of the documentary and I'm going to ask her to watch that instead. While I think Harvey's subway pickups and messy relationships depicted in "Milk" only make him more endearing to his fellow gay brothers (the crowd of guys I saw it with loved them and believe me, the depiction is rather PG-rated), I decided Mom would learn more about the gay rights movement's greatest champion from archival footage of him in action and interviews with friends and coworkers who loved and admired him than a recreation of it all. My hope, of course, is that she's so moved by the documentary that SHE chooses to go see "Milk" because she wants to. Unlikely, yes. But as Harvey says, you gotta give 'em hope, and hoping, indeed, I am ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't agrere with you more. MILK is an a-list film with a-list all working at the top of their game. I was at the City Hall the night Harvey died, it was unforgetable to see all those people filling the plaza. It told me for the first time in my young life that I was never going to be alone. I am still moved when I see gays get into action, as they did in Los Angeles this year. Harvey's legacy will live on when others try to deny or take our rights away.

There are logts of people with self-esteem issues in the gay community. One viewing of this film will effect you forever.