The 2009 Academy Awards were held, among others, in the name of this great drama by Gus Van Sant, which was nominated in eight categories. This is a true biographical drama about the life of Harvey Milk, the first gay politician who publicly fought (and fought for) the rights of his sexual orientation in the then conservative United States.
The plot of the film is set in the 70s of the last century. Harvey Milk, 40, is a prominent gay rights activist. She lives with her boyfriend in New York. After a while, they moved to San Francisco and opened a small store there. However, their relationship collapses, Harvey is left alone and immerses himself in the work of a gay rights activist. In order to succeed in his plan, he ran for the city assembly in 1977, and after a long struggle, he became the first declared homosexual in the United States in politics. Meanwhile, Milk is tormented by a turbulent love life with his current troubled partner. Milk’s struggle in the assembly is met with resistance in the form of Dan White, a representative of the social conservatives, elected from a district in which the residents were quite upset because of the growing political power of the gay community.
This is a very instructive and educational film, politically coherent and credibly shown. It shows someone’s hope, sacrifice and readiness, the spirit of the human rights movement and activist courage, a real belief in what they are fighting for. Gus made this film with a lot of true facts and a lot of documented material. It was filmed in a large number of authentic locations (stores in San Francisco), but also with the creativity of certain elements, especially the characters, in a very likable way. There is a noticeable great effort to go beyond the clichéd notion of a member of the gay population. The director did a great job, he incorporated everything into one coherent project, with a clear emphasis on the essentials.
Harvey Milk was masterfully played by Sean Penn. I think that any other choice would be wrong, because it is really impossible to imagine someone else in this role, which brought him a fifth nomination and a second Oscar. Also good were Josh Brolin as Dan (Oscar nominee in the male supporting role category), Diego Luna (Diego Luna) as his troubled partner, as well as James Franco, for whom this is one of the better roles. in his career.
While you may not be a fan of the gay population or anything like that, you have to watch this movie for several reasons. Because of the true events that changed someone’s world, because of the excellent direction of Gus van Santa, because of the masterful acting of Sean Penn, and mostly because of the will of an individual who changed the course of history for the better with persistence and sincere commitment to what he believes.