A true twentieth-century trailblazer, Harvey Milk was an outspoken human rights activist and one of the first openly gay U.S. politicians elected to public office; even after his assassination in 1978, he continues to inspire disenfranchised people around the world. The Oscar-winning The Times of Harvey Milk, directed by Robert Epstein and produced by Richard Schmiechen, was as groundbreaking as its subject. One of the first feature documentaries to address gay life in America, it’s a work of advocacy itself, bringing Milk’s message of hope and equality to a wider audience. This exhilarating trove of original documentary material and archival footage is as much a vivid portrait of a time and place (San Francisco’s historic Castro District in the seventies) as a testament to the legacy of a political visionary.
"It's not my victory, it's yours and yours and yours. If a gay can win, it means there is hope that the system can work for all minorities if we fight, we've given them hope" -Harvey Milk-
A truly great documentary The Times of Harvey Milk has exceeded its original category with the passage of time. It is now an archive, a political case study, urban geography, melodrama, and cathartic expiation. On November 27, 1978, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Board of Supervisors Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by Milk's fellow Supervisor Dan White.
Underlying the assassination were White's social conservatism, Milk's open homosexuality and Moscone's support of Milk. Friends and supporters (some of who were homophobic before meeting Milk) speak of Milk's life as a social crusader in the Castro District, a wannabe politician and his astuteness as an elected official in the position of what most would consider a political outsider. Although Milk fought for gay rights, he also worked toward general human rights.
His biggest political battle was fighting against Proposition 6, also known as the Briggs Proposition, which would have restricted the rights of openly gay teachers in California. This fight seemed to be a losing battle in an era when gay rights were being repealed across the US. A more complete story of White, the reasons for the assassinations, and the violent public response protest to the verdict in his murder trial are also presented.