Harvey Milk's Political Life

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Another perspective of the context in which Harvey Milk sustained his political life would be through the lens of the conservative fundamentalists that was predominant in the 1970s. The conservative power that was strong prior to 1978 was slowly declining through the sustained opposition to discriminatory propositions by high profile politicians such as then California Governor, Ronald Reagan, and President Jimmy Carter (Source 12) (Source 5). However there was still a mass following for the Conservative Party. This is seen through the successes of the ‘Save our Children’ campaign in the states of Minnesota, Oregon, and Kansas that repealed anti-discrimination laws against gay people. (Source 12) The Briggs Initiative, that was lead by Anita…show more content…
Milk, which was written by Dustin Lance Black and directed by Gus van Sant remained historically accurate within the execution of film for the following reasons. Firstly the movie was filmed in the original Castro Camera in San Francisco (Source 10), which in accordance to Gus Van Sant ‘took care of some of the issues with architecture’. Van Sant talks about remaking the Castro Camera and bringing in the original designer of the store, Tom Randal, to assist in this recreation (Source 10). Van Sant claims that ‘we were striving for as true-to-life a re-creation of the story as possible in the sets, the costumes, the performances and the dialogue’ (Source 11). The set was incredibly accurate as Gus Vant Sant got in contact with Danny Nicoletta, who was Milk’s photographer and the film designers tried to recreate his photographs in accordance to Castro Camera and Milk’s apartment (Source 10). ‘Daniel Nicoletta, who went to work in Milk's camera store in 1975 and calls himself a "torch bearer of his memory," said, "I'm just thrilled I'm alive to see this happening. There's something epic about it being a feature film, because people respond to them so strongly in this culture." Nicoletta helped with historical research for the movie’ (Source 11). Just as the film designer, Bill Groom ‘we were working already from thousands of photographs and hours…show more content…
Characterisation was generally very precise and managed to capture the essence of the film. Sean Penn’s portrayal of Harvey Milk involved intense research, as ‘there was also a good amount of archival material. I fell in love with Harvey, with this person, this spirit of this human being, which transcended my own agenda as an actor’ (Source 11). Sean Penn then went on to win an Academy Award best actor (Source 16), which only emphasizes Penn’s outstanding and convincing depiction of Harvey Milk. All the actors were required to do intense research and were guided by actual members of Milk’s staff such as Anne Kronenberg, Danny Nicolleta, Cleve Jones and Gilbert Baker (Source 10). Gilbert Baker further helped with the props for the film shoot, as he was the original creator of the iconic Gay Pride flag and thus recreated numerous campaigning materials (Source 10). The majority of props used were from Harvey Milk’s apartment or from Castro Camera as ‘people who have been in the Castro for a very long time just started coming forward with not only photographs, but objects from Harvey’s camera store’ (Source 11). These prop elements completely enhanced the feel of the film and thus helped the actors align themselves with their characters. In terms of costumes, all costumes were recreated to the utmost of accuracy as mentioned above. Gus Van Sant used photographs and tried to exemplify

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