To celebrate what would have been former San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk's 85th birthday, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club is hosting a special screening of the Oscar-winning documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk at the Castro Theater Friday, May 22.
Thirty-one years after the film premiered at the Castro, friends of Milk will be present to see the restored, 35-mm version, including activist and former Supervisor Harry Britt, former Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, and Robert Epstein (the film's director).
[jump] The Mayor of Castro Street's star has only risen since Gus Van Sant's 2008 Milk, which showed how the man who murmured about turning 40 without ever having done a thing later galvanized the politically powerless LGBT community into a civil rights movement of its own, before his assassination in 1978 at the age of 48. Now, Milk is on postage stamps and and California students learn LGBT history in school. Tom Temprano, former co-chair of the Milk Club, told SF Weekly that 37 years on, Milk's legacy remains as relevant as ever.
“Harvey’s vision of San Francisco being a beacon of hope, a place that young queer people from across the country could come and call home, is quickly being erased,” Temprano said. “That young kid from Altoona, Pennsylvania or Richmond, Minnesota that he spoke of in the 1970’s has been priced out of San Francisco. There isn’t much hope to be found in a city where a one-bedroom apartment costs $3500, which is why we need to remember Harvey’s championing of working class people and affordable housing now more than ever.”
Equally importantly, the film shows the full breadth of the LGBT community's diversity.
Stephen Torres, the Club's Events and Fundraising Chair, said, “The Times of Harvey Milk offers us a look at who he was and his legacy through the eyes of the people he worked with day to day, including those of women and people of color, whose narrative from that time we don't always get to hear.”
Tickets start at $12 for the screening plus the preceding fireside chat, with a $40 VIP tier guaranteeing a seat up front and a private reception with Britt, Ammiano, Epstein, and others.
Once upon a time, the Castro was a hotbed of homophobia and the thought of an openly gay elected official sounded preposterous. That didn't change overnight, and it took more than any one person to make it happen, but The Times of Harvey Milk shows a key chapter in the fight for equality.
The Times of Harvey Milk, Friday, May 22, 7 p.m., at the Castro Theater, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6350