The amount of help that Harvey Milk brought to the then-new LGBT movement cannot be understated. Exactly how much that cause was hurt after ey was assassinated cannot be understated in the same way. Where much is made of the murdering of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, Harvey Milk’s unfortunate path from this world is something that has not been given quite the amount of ink that it should.
The Times of Harvey Milk looks to rectify this, and was the original impetus for the creation of the award-winning feature Milk. Criterion’s exhaustive Blu-Ray edition of the film does not skimp on material; the print itself is taken from the remastered UCLA cut, while the trio of minds (photographer Daniel Nicoletta, editor Deborah Hoffman and director Robert Epstein) present on the audio commentary will fill a number of holes in a viewer’s education about Harvey Milk. A featurette comparing and contrasting the information that is presented in both The Times of Harvey Milk with Milk establishes the correct way to see Harvey Milk’s life and impact, while the presence of the original theatrical trailer will provide context into exactly how viewers were originally ensnared into wanting to watch the film. I personally found the roundtable discussion about the trial of Supervisor Dan White to be particularly illuminating, showing a case in which a cold-blooded murderer went free due to a perceived fault in the individual that ey killed.
As always, there is a tremendously interesting and indepth essay commissioned by The Criterion Collection present in this edition, with more scholarly (B. Ruby Rich) and emotional (Stuart Milk) pieces present. For those viewers that wish to get first-hand evidence about the speaking skill and charisma exuded by Milk, there are a number of different clips culled from Milk’s speeches. Make sure to pick up this Blu-Ray edition at your local DVD store or from a host of different online retailers.
The Times of Harvey Milk (Blu-Ray) / 2011 The Criterion Collection / 88 Minutes / http://www.criterion.com