The times of Harvey Milk, the times we live in.

Have you ever tried speaking while someone clutched you mouth? Did you ever lie to anyone each day of your life so that you could survive? Did you ever cuss at yourself for being what you are? Did you ever wonder why you were not normal, but deep within the true answer betrayed the answer you wanted to listen? Were you met with the stifled giggles of your classmates when you just walked past them? If the answer to all of the questions above is a resounding No, then you don’t know what it was like to be a homosexual in the 1970’s ( people have been a bit forthcoming of late, but those days were the pits). The times when bigotry spread in the air like a contagious disease, the time when a ‘queer’ man showed how one can fight for his own rights, fight for his own life and in the process leave a legacy which people would admire years later with exalted respect.

The movie Milk opens to Harvey Milk confiding his thoughts on to a tape recorder days before his death. He knew his end, because he knew the world well enough. He knew the people cloaked in fear and the repercussions of their action. On November 27, 1978 Harvey Milk was shot two bullets in his head. It took 26 years for the bullet to break ‘that’ closet door, Milk aspired for. 26 years. And this is just a beginning, a good beginning no doubt, but, just a beginning. Many closets are still tightly closed; ’religion’, ‘violation of natural discourse’ are just some of the weak latches. Common sense has never been the forte of human beings, constructing barbed wires and alienating a group has been.


In the first hour or so, the movie plays like a documentary. The camera is an indifferent, emotionally divorced viewer at times, objectively noting points from Milk’s life. It is too reluctant to do anything here, following quietly the phenomena that engulfed the castro streets in 1978. The movie doesn’t place him at the pedestal, but shows Milk as a normal human being, as turned on by power and sex, as any other normal human being would be. It is a transparent delineation of his life, and unlike A Beautiful Mind it never banks on those scenes that never happened in Nash’s life.

Milk is an important movie in todays’ times because our thought process is still a storehouse of conventional, contrite ideas, where the alleged law of God looms large. Neil Armstrong took a giant leap for the mankind in 1969, the very same year when homosexuals raised their collective voice for the first time. Talk about congruency. We make smaller notebooks every other month, but have we really shed our prejudices and moved on? This movie is a a crude reminder of the past, and a subtle gentle suggestion of what needs to be done in the present.

Milk as a movie works on various levels {feels great to use the most abused line in reviews}. It is not only about a man who fought for the homosexuals stood against the odds and faced the wind head on, but his life can also act as an inspirational model for he was a man who was proud of being himself. And he never cared a fig of what everyone labeled him as. Because, it is the certification in life from within that matters the most. Harvey Milk knew it. He knew it well. It is about a man who inspired a millions and gave hope.

Milk\’s Hope Speech is one of the most poignant speeches I have ever heard and has the magical ability to lift anyone from abyss and set one free. I am of the firm opinion that things change. That things can change, that things will change. I’m proud to be foolishly romantic. We can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living, said Harvey Milk 32 years ago, and I hope. With a million wishes locked inside.

Are YOU ready to give it to them?

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