The Times of Harvey Milk | Chicago Reader

The Times of Harvey Milk

If this 1984 film were at all right-wing, I'd probably resent it for just those reasons that make it seem such an exceptional piece of documentary filmmaking: its smooth narrative presentation, its superb placement of dramatic climaxes, its way of appearing calm and impartial while artfully leading the audience to a sense of outrage. Milk was the openly gay San Francisco supervisor who was murdered in 1978, along with Mayor George Moscone, by fellow supervisor Dan White. Filmmakers Robert Epstein and Richard Schmiechen employ a classic propaganda technique when they use our sympathy for the man to build sympathy for his movement. The film convinces you that Harvey Milk was a great individual; the more difficult and more important task is to convince the viewer that Milk's courageous support of minority rights is a great cause. 87 min.

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