Saturday, January 3, 2009

"My name is Harvey Milk, and I'm here to recruit you!"

In 1978, Proposition 6 would ban gays and lesbians from working in California's public schools. In 2008, Proposition 8 overturned laws granting equal marriage rights to all people in the state of California. We have taken two steps forward and ten steps backward. We have made progress, and we have regressed. But what are we to do? Gus van Sant's striking portrayal of the late, great Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician elected into official office in this country, reminds us the one thing we need to fight: grit.

Through his incomparable vision, Gus van Sant has portrayed Milk in an honest, searing spotlight that chronicles the era in which he fought for our rights. There is little more to say about the film itself because, honestly, it doesn't read as a film at all; it is a living, breathing entity showcasing the struggle we all face everyday with everyone. It is a memorial to all those who have died for what they are or what they believe in, and a testament to how guts and guile are all it takes to fight for your rights.   

It is our time as people to speak up; we are almost ten years into the new millennium, ten years into the dawning of a new age, and yet we still cling to what is safe, and what is comfort, and not to what is right. In 1978 Harvey Milk was assassinated after having served only ten months in office, yet he will remain an icon for all those, gay or straight, who believe in peace, love and justice. We should, we must, follow in his footsteps each day to create a society which truly is a society; a place where we can all be free from hate and prejudice and fear. It will happen one day, but it is our duty to make that day not next year, not next month, and not next week, but tomorrow.       

1 comment:

eclectictsunami said...

Great movie.

Broke my heart at the end, as I knew it would, of course.