“I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living.”
Openly-gay politician Harvey Milk finally achieves a seat on San Francisco’s city council, only to be assassinated shortly thereafter by his bitter colleague, Dan White.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Rob Epstein’s Oscar-winning documentary about the tragic assassination of California’s first openly-gay politician has generated renewed interest given the 2008 release of Gus Van Sant’s Milk (starring Sean Penn in an Oscar-winning performance as Harvey Milk). Those who’ve seen Milk and would like to learn more about Milk’s rise to political prominence would do well to check out this conventionally crafted but provocative film; together, the two movies provide a rich portrait of a man who dared to live his life honestly and openly, despite the risks he inevitably faced. And Penn’s performance is simply that much more impressive after seeing the real Milk in action.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- An engaging portrait of Milk’s charismatic rise to power
- Touching testimonials by friends and colleagues of Milk
- Effective incorporation of archival footage
Yes, as an Oscar-winning documentary.