Gay Essential Documentaries To Watch, The Times Of Harvey Milk

The Times of Harvey Milk tells of the successful career and assassination of San Francisco’s first voted for gay councillor. Harvey Milk had been sitting on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors for just 11 months when he was murdered. The documentary opens to a tearful Feinstein briefing the media about Moscone and Milk’s assassination at the hands of former colleague Dan White.

Rob Epstein documents the life and times of Harvey Milk: his rise from his beginnings as a neighbourhood activist to the lead up to his election and him being a representative of gay political achievement in San Francisco. Also documented is Milk’s successful fight against Senator John Briggs’s rabble-rousing Proposition 6. Some of the most poignant images in the film portray the colossal candlelight march in the wake of the shootings which played a sharp contrast to the uprisings after White’s notorious Twinkies-defence trial. The film also includes Milk’s killing in November 1978, the violent reaction to his assassination and the trial of assassin, Dan White.

Original personal interviews, extensive news reports, exclusive documentary footage, personal recollections and archival footage form part of the compelling documentary. Featured in the film is Anne Kronenberg, school teacher Tom Ammiano, Sally Gearhart, Allan Baird, Teamsters Union leader. Archival tape includes Dianne Feinstein and Jimmy Carter.

The Times Of Harvey Milk




“This is an enormously absorbing film, for the light it sheds on a decade in the life of a great American city and on the lives of Milk and Moscone, who made it a better, and certainly a more interesting, place to live.”
   Roger Ebert

“Harvey stood for something more than just him,” someone remarks in ‘The Times of Harvey Milk,’ and this warm, well-made documentary makes that eminently clear.”
  The New York Times  

“What elevates Harvey Milk beyond being a stunning, emotional docudrama and into the realm of elegant social activism, is in the subtle parallels he draws between the Milk-White dichotomy and the concurrent, controversial battle over Proposition 6, which would grant California public schools permission to fire openly gay teachers.”
  Slant Magazine  

Did You Know?

The Times of Harvey Milk documentary was considered in 2012 by the United States Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.  Dan White who also assassinated Mayor George Moscone alongside Milk at San Francisco’s city hall was a disgruntled ex-colleague who was opposed to gay rights. Review our Gay Themed Films Here

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Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
Alexander Ryll
- 5 months ago
Alexander Ryll
Alexander Ryll