Coming Out of Left Field

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Milk, marriage and the movies

The wife and I went to see "Milk" last with a couple of friends. Afterwards, we all wished that it had come out in theatres before the election, instead of three weeks after, or even that the "No on 8" campaign had drawn more of a parallel between their efforts and those of Harvey Milk's 30 years ago. I also wish there was someone with his passion and his ability to organize and inspire support ... the history of gay rights might be different.

As for the movie itself, Gus Van Sant did an incredible job capturing the essence of Milk's story while still presenting him as a flawed human being, not a saint. And while all of the cast did well, Sean Penn was simply phenomenal as Milk. Later on we went back to our friends' house and watched the 1984 documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk", and were amazed by how close Penn came to the original. We were also struck by how far we've come, on the one hand (no more police raids on gay bars) and how much some things have stayed the same.

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