Milk is an Oscar winning political biography of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in American history. The story begins in New York City in 1970 when the soon to be forty year old Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) meets a younger man Scott Smith (James Franco) on the subway. The two become lovers and with Milk wanting to make something of his life the two men move to San Francisco where they eventually open a camera shop in the Castro neighbourhood which is slowly becoming more and more homosexual friendly. Over the years Milk begins campaigning for equal rights for homosexuals before running for office multiple times. Milk tells the story of his struggle for office, recognition and respect from his fortieth birthday to untimely death eight years later.
Milk has for a few years been one of those films which I wanted to see, but just hadn’t got around to. It turned out to be pretty much the film I expected it to. It made me angry, I was interested and engaged and occasionally enraged. Sean Penn’s performance was excellent too and I’m not surprised that it along with the subject matter won him an Oscar. For me the film accomplished exactly what it set out to. It educated me.