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I know the film, MILK has been in theaters for a few months now but if you haven’t seen it you really should gomilk_movie_poster now.  I finally got around to watching my screener of it and I was mesmerized.  Sean Penn plays Harvey Milk as this lost man in NYC who at the age of 40 wants to finally do something with his life.  Leaving with his new partner, played by James Franco, the pair move to San Francisco to the Castro district. Harvey opens a camera shop only to immediately be faced with discrimination from the local business association.  Using the power of speech, Harvey organizes the gay community to first rise against Coors Beer then Harvey starts his first of many campaigns for a government seat.  I’ll stop here on the recap because one you can read the history in wikipedia and two you need to see the film.  

With 2008’s elections and the passing of Proposition 8, Milk couldn’t be more relevant.  Many have written about this fact and most choose to focus on the fact that this year the gay community has failed Harvey Milk and his legacy.  Yes, No on 8 did loose. Yes, gay marriage was banned in the state of California.  But as I watched Milk with a friend, she commented that wow gay rights have not come that far since the 1970’s.  At first, I sat almost crying thinking she was correct.  And on the surface it seems my friend is right.  Then I started to really think about it.  In the film a man is murdered, beaten to death, for walking down the sidewalk with his partner. In San Francisco.  Today there is still hatred toward the gay community but now in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, New York City, Minneapolis, and many other cities gay couples can walk down the street, holding hands, and the likely hood that they are going to be beaten is slim, very slim.  Overwhelmingly, I believe, 80% of voters under the age of 30 are for gay marriage.  Milk’s message once again is hitting home with the younger generation.

You can find out more about Milk and it’s awards/nominations here.

-Koop

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