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June 30, 2005


Joe Swanberg

I just saw this film for the first time the other day as well. The filmmaking is definitely classic, and Harvey is the perfect subject. It really makes me wonder how far gay rights might have come if he were still alive today.


hillary was in new york's pride parade, for what it's worth.

young diane feinstein was the most striking thing to me in harvey milk. she looked like wonder woman!

it's weird that journalists have replaced our leaders in telling us what our leaders said.

too many layers.

Greg Williams

Your mention of this film made me go in search of it. Although I had vague memories of the murders and Dan White's trial - mainly revolving around his "Twinkie defense" - I knew next-to-nothing about Milk, Mayor Moscone or the amazing street reactions in San Francisco. Really compelling and informative stuff. And the interviews, especially, took me by surprise. They seemed to be 180 degrees from the sort of hardened, politicized screeds that make up so much of our current social dialogue. (People who actually made an effort to acknowledge the opinions and emotions of others with opposing views? Expressions of empathy? Open-mindedness, even?)

Remember open-mindedness?

I wonder whether a big-budget biography could capture the tone of those times in a way that people today could relate to. Or have we sunk too low in the swamp of blaring and divisive "media talk"?

AJ Schnack

I'm glad you checked it out and were struck by some of the same things I was. It did seem that debate then (both when the film was made and when the interviews were conducted a few years later) was different (even though the consequences of activism were sometimes extreme and fatal). I fear that we are in a cycle now where bombast is rewarded more than reasoning. Then, the polite debate team rules seemed to apply.

Greg Williams

You're right, of course, that the good old days of the '60s and '70s were filled with extreme examples of distrust and hatred: assassinations, bombings and violent clashes. But we also heard reasonable voices from time to time. These days, a reasonable voice is thought of as weak and wishy-washy.

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