Harvey Milk, a gay activist elected to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors (or city council) in 1977, was assassinated in 1978 alongside mayor George Moscone by fellow-supervisor Dan White, who had recently lost his appointment and had targeted on the pinko left for his revenge. The murders inspired a 45,000-strong candlelit vigil, and the scandalously lenient sentence given White caused riots the like of which the city had never seen. Epstein and producer Richard Schmiechen expanded a projected film on anti-gay legislation into a feature-length documentary about America's first 'out' gay politician. Charismatic and outspoken, Milk was headed for the job of mayor, and deserves a place in the pantheon of specifically American radicalism. This documentary about his career and the repercussions of his assassination deservedly won an Oscar.
Judith Coburn, Carter Wilson
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