While we celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community all year round, the official month of Pride celebrations is the perfect time to honor two of the most important LGBTQIA+ films of the 21st century, Brokeback Mountain and Milk.

SYNOPSIS:
Milk is an award-winning 2008 biopic based on the true story of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California in the 1970s. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key scenes that could inspire your artwork.

KEY THEMES

GAY RIGHTS 

Harvey Milk was a forerunner in making gay rights a reality in the US. The film follows his rise as an activist and politician working to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. In one powerful scene, despite receiving death threats, Harvey takes to the stage during a Gay Pride Rally and delivers a rousing speech. 

“On the Declaration of Independence it is written: “All men are created equal.”... “No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words!”….“That is what America is!”

WORK / LIFE BALANCE

Harvey’s work dominated his world, and profoundly impacted his romantic life. In this telling scene, (0.10) Harvey sweetly tries to ease the tension during yet another dinner nearly spoiled by  “campaign updates” with his boyfriend Scott (James Franco). Though they later break up, eventually they reconcile as friends at Harvey’s 48th birthday celebration(0.41), an opulent and lavish affair, worlds away from the life they had together.

PRIDE AND ACCEPTANCE

Harvey was out and proud, and commanded the respect of straight society without compromising who he was. In this scene (0.19) at city hall, he playfully berates his mentee and fellow activist Cleve Jones (Emile Hirsch) for showing up in a suit - “Any time you come here I want you to wear  the tightest jeans possible – never blend in!” 

KEY SCENES

“Is it just me, or is he cute?” 

Republican and political rival Dan White (Josh Brolin) extends an out-of-character olive branch, inviting Harvey to his son’s christening in front of their stunned colleagues.

Anne Kronenberg

Harvey makes waves by hiring a new campaign manager - “A woman! A woman who likes women! And that’s odd isn’t it?”

Although the fate of Harvey Milk ultimately ended in tragedy, the film is a hopeful and poignant immortalisation of Milk’s work and push for progress and justice. His legacy lives on through this impactful piece of filmmaking, and we can’t wait to see how you interpret his story in your artwork!

The deadline for submissions for Month 4 Films is June 27th, but there are multiple opportunities to submit your work to a host of Focus Features classics throughout the brief! Visit focus20.talenthouse.com for complete details.