Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sean Penn and Milk crashed the party

IN THE WAKE  of all of the approving exclamation points accorded Sean Penn and the blockbuster movie Milk, I rummaged through some earlier reviews.  Given the subject matter of gay rights, the dramatic fuse was relentlessly in sight. The fateful challenge of  Harvey Milk, the openly gay San Francisco supervisor, to Anita Bryant and her cadre of gay-bashers churned waves of  mixed reaction in conservative quarters and the religious right, the morals police for homosexuality.

There was, for example, conservative movie critic Michael Medved, who has found his own niche audience among the Hollywood-haters.  Medved seemed to struggle with his admiration for the movie.    On one hand, he said it had a "heavy-handed political agenda" but tempered this criticism by conceding that Milk  is a "lovingly crafted film."  

On the other hand, film reviewer Ethan Samuel Rodgers, for a Web  posting called Christian Spotlight on the Movies,  followed the old Falwell line that one can love the sinner but hate the  sin. But  Rodgers opined that  the picture  failed as  a biopic "because  it is biased, overly offensive, and simply untrue to the story of a man's life we may never truly know."  Oh?  I doubt  that many who left the theatre after viewing Milk were not amply aware of the bias and offensive behavior of those who set out to destroy him - and did.  

Such behavior and horrific notions still exist in some quarters today, but let's give the late Harvey Milk (and a   heroic   performance by Sean Penn!)  huge credit for crashing the gay-bashers party and making life a little more civilized for everyone concerned today.  God knows, we need it.  

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