Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)

Rob Epstein



The Times of Harvey Milk, conceived and directed by Rob Epstein and produced by Richard Schmiechen, documents the political career of Harvey Milk, who was San Francisco's first openly gay supervisor. The film, at times humorous, at times tragic, documents the rise of Milk from a neighborhood activist to becoming a symbol of gay political achievement, through to his assassination at San Francisco's city hall, and the Dan White trial and aftermath.

The film was produced only a few years after Milk's death using original interviews, exclusive documentary footage, news reports and archival footage. Other politicians including San Francisco mayor George Moscone (who was assassinated with Milk), and Moscone's successor and now United States Senator Dianne Feinstein appear in archival footage. The movie opens with a tearful Feinstein delivering her announcement to the media that Moscone and Milk had been assassinated by Dan White.

The film won the Academy Award for best documentary film in 1985, and was awarded Special Jury Prize at the first Sundance Film Festival, among other awards.


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