Professor Richard Primuth
Movie Review Essay
September 5, 2012
Milk’s Story Told Right
The 2008 film Milk is based on a true story about a political leader who desired to see a change in America, specifically the freedom of choice and speech towards homosexuals. The motion picture takes place after Harvey Milk’s 40th birthday and captures the rest of his life as he strives to convince America to let the gay community out of the closet. The movie portrays the historical activist very well, including the surrounding characters as well as the actual events that took place during his time in office.
The film was very accurate in representing Harvey Milk correctly. In the movie, Milk was depicted as a very polite official who was determined to give hope to the gay community. While the film highlighted the last nine years of Milk’s life, it only focused on a few events that Milk participated in. There were a few minor details that were incorrectly represented such as the set of the film; however the historical events were embodied properly in the depictions of Harvey Milk and his assassinator, Dan White.
While the set of the film accurately takes place in San Francisco and Washington D.C., the actual settings were slightly incorrect. According to a historical text, in San Francisco, the New Main Branch Library was built in 1995. However, this building is noticeable in some of the rally scenes when they actually took place during the mid-1970s. During the boycotting scene of Coors Beer, Budweiser and Bud Light dispensers were visible in the bar, yet Bud Light Beer was not introduced until 1982. Also, throughout the movie the characters reference The Advocate as a magazine. Although The Advocate became a magazine in 1992, in Harvey Milk’s time during the 1970’s, it was a tabloid newspaper.
Even though the film had setting and informational errors, the movie portrayed the characters stupendously. Dan White was the infamous San...