The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
Country: United States
Run Time: 87 minutes
Robert Epstein vividly captures the personality of slain San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk in a straighforward and moving style. In addition to making Harvey Milk's presence a strongly felt one, the documentary contrasts what Milk represented in society with the rise of the Moral Majority, the fear of Fundamentalists and the "all-American boy" image of his killer, Dan White. Warmly narrated by Harvey Fierstwin ("Torch Song Trilogy," "La Cage Aux Folles"), the film opens with the televised annoucement of the shooting deaths of Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor Moscone on November 27, 1978. The events leading up to this climatic moment are told in flashback via interviews with friends and associates and TV news footage of both Milk and Dan White. At the age of 47, Harvey Milk was elected to San Francisco city council, where he championed the causes of senior citizens, Asian minorities and labor unions in addition to gay rights. Openly homosexual, Milk was a charismatic leader and a thorn in the side of his opponents. Dan White's "Twinkie" defense (junk food made him do it) of his obviously premeditated act is shockingly inadequate to explain the brief (5 years) sentence he served for the crime. The film is an illuminating epitaph to times that, alas, have little changed today.
". . .Riveting. . .informative and amusing entertainment. . .pulls no punches." -Variety
Deborah Hoffman, Robert Epstein