Last weekend I went to a private screening of the movie Milk in downtown DC with about 300 bloggers and activists. The movie was absolutely fantastic and received one of the loudest applauses I’ve ever heard a movie receive in a theatre. What was perhaps even more telling way to show the impact of the movie on the audience, however, was how I could hear people throughout the theatre crying at certain points while the entire theatre was laughing wholeheartedly at other moments. As we were all leaving the theatre, the topic of discussion ranged from how Sean Penn did a wonderful job portraying Harvey Milk and deserves all the awards that have begun floating his way to how the movie simply stirred up so many emotions, especially among the people whose lives have been directly impacted by the work of Harvey Milk.
For those of you who don’t know, the movie Milk portrays the life of Harvey Milk who was one of the first openly gay men elected to office (many people claim he was the first, this is a misconception as he was actually the 5th but he’s the one remembered by history). The movie concentrates on his time in San Francisco politics and ends with his assassination.
Even if it had come out at another point in time, I believe the movie would definitely have been worth seeing but I think it’s even more important considering what is currently taking place in our country. As we are celebrating the election of our country’s first African American president, there are still people in our country who are denied some of their basic civil rights. And it’s not just about marriage as there are people who have been pushing for members of the GLBT community to not even be allowed to serve as foster parents or adopt children who would greatly benefit from loving parents. The protests shown in the movie combined with the protests currently taking place (such as the one I took recently took part in) seem to help drive home how much more work needs to be done to ensure that ALL Americans are treated equally.
The movie Milk is a must see. No matter if you’re interested in politics or not, this story is one that reaches out to the most basic values of all human beings and will strike a chord with anyone who takes the time to watch it.