Friday, December 12, 2008

A Day Away & Milk

Last night my brother emailed me because I hadn't posted anything since Wednesday. Well, I had to go to Philadelphia and while there I didn't have a chance to post, but I did get the chance to go to a 5:40 movie. Just going at that hour was delicious and guilt inducing. Was it really OK to just sit in the dark and watch a movie at 5:40? Not only was it, but I saw Milk, which is a movie about becoming yourself--and in Harvey Milk's case, becoming yourself at 40. I love that.

Here's Andrew Solomon's take on the film, which is right and moving, except for the kicker which says at its best the gay rights movement is holy. I don't think the gay rights movement at its best is holy. I don't think any movement that identifies injustice and intolerance is holy. I think such movements are themselves quintessentially human. Contradictory as Solomon says, but simply human. You don't get god points for finding the best part of yourself --the part that acknowledges limits and yearns to expand. As much as I liked the movie, and as appropriate as it is for this particular moment, here's the thing I didn't like. There were no women. I mean, one woman--Milk's campaign manager. But there's this kicky scene when Cleave Jones, a young protege of Milk, calls two friends and they call two friends and so on and so on and they are all men. That's the thing about the gay rights movement, it's so male. So it goes.

There was one other woman in the movie: Anita Bryant, who I swear is a dead ringer for --or at least progenirator of - Sarah Palin. In any case, I recommend Milk with my highest 5 hanky rating.

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