Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hollywood Recognises our History with Milk

A film celebrating the life and achievements of an openly gay Californian politician is about to be released in the US. Milk is a biopic of the eponymous Harvey Milk, the USA’s first elected out politician, who became supervisor of San Francisco until he was shot dead in 1978. The role of Harvey Milk is played by Sean Penn and the movie is directed by Gus Van Sant.

Milk had been a teacher before entering politics and he campaigned against homosexual teachers being sacked from California schools under a law proposed by California Senator John Briggs. However he is probably more famous for outing the closet gay who saved President Gerald Ford’s life when he took a bullet in 1975.

Milk, and San Francisco Mayor Moscone were both murdered by arch rival anti-gay conservative Dan White. He turned himself in but his trial was a fiasco and his lenient sentence caused riots among the LGBT community.

Although the film follows the bleak Hollywood tradition that rules all LGBT lives end in tragedy, it’s a very sympathetic portrayal of a man whose life and achievements must be kept alive in history.

Milk is released in Germany and San Francisco next month and is due for release in the rest of the US in December. The date of release in the UK is unknown but it is most likely to be February.

Find out more about Harvey Milk here.

Updated 14 September 2008

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