Winner of the 1984 Academy Award for best documentary, this is the moving and ultimately life-affirming portrait of the first openly gay man elected to political office in California.
In 1978, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco city council, becoming the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California. One year later, he and Mayor George Moscone were shot and killed by Milk’s fellow council member, former police officer Dan White. The Times of Harvey Milk recreates the tumultuous story of Milk’s grass-roots political organizing and election, through the shocking murders and their repercussions—from the eloquent candle-light memorial joined by tens of thousands of San Franciscans on the evening of the assassinations, to the angry mobs who stormed City Hall in the aftermath of the lenient sentence White received at his murder trial.
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
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