Publisher: Criterion Collection
Format: Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
Actors: Harvey Milk, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Kronenberg, Tory Hartmann, Tom Ammiano
A true twentieth-century trailblazer, Harvey Milk was an outspoken human rights activist and the first openly gay U.S. politician elected to public office; even after his assassination, in 1978, he continues to inspire disenfranchised people around the world. The Oscar-winning The Times of Harvey Milk, directed by Robert Epstein (The Celluloid Closet, Paragraph 175) and produced by Richard Schmiechen, was, like its subject, groundbreaking. One of the first feature documentaries to address gay life in America, it’s a work of advocacy itself, bringing Milk’s message of hope and equality to a wider audience. This exhilarating trove of archival footage and heartfelt interviews is as much a vivid portrait of a time and place (San Francisco’s historic Castro District in the seventies) as a testament to the legacy of a political visionary.
A devastatingly skillful and emotionally compelling documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk charts the political rise and brutal slaying of the first openly gay city official in the United State, Harvey Milk. Ironically, the same election that brought Milk to the board of city supervisors of San Francisco also elected the man who killed him, a former police officer and fireman named Dan White. After White shot both Mayor George Moscone and Milk, his defense lawyers convinced the jury that White's judgment was impaired by depression and junk food, resulting in a conviction for manslaughter instead of murder--a verdict that prompted riots. With care and conviction, The Times of Harvey Milk captures not only Milk himself, but also the political and social landscape in which these events took place. The interviews--with friends, politicians, and journalists--are articulate and heartfelt, expressing the impact that Milk had upon this historical moment. --Bret Fetzer