Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Flick Picks: Harvey and Sheppard

The Civil Rights Movement had MLK and Emmit Till.
The gay rights movement posesses martyrs of its own.
Matthew Sheppard and Harvey Milk came to symbolize the juxtaposition of hate and hope that
fueled the movement and gave it a face.

Both Academy Award Winner "The Times of Harvey Milk" (1984) and critically acclaimed "The Laramie Project" shine light on two figures that helped to spotlight the gay plight.

In October 1998 21 year-old Mathew Shepard was found brutally beaten tied to a fence and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming. The Laramie Project captures the small town's inward look at itself- the love, the bigotry and the defiance.

Deemed the "Mayor of Castro", political figure Harvey Milk revolutionized politics and breathed fire into the San Francisco community. Tragically gunned down before his full potential was realized, this documentary follows the rise and fall of Milk. Like MLK, Milk seemed to know his fate and embraced the struggle despite knowing the consequences.

Milk had anticipated the possibility of assassination
and had recorded several audio tapes to be played in that event.
An inscription at the Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco contains a quote:
"If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door."

Right on brother.
Be sure to check out these flicks.