MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Sean Penn, James Franco, Allison Pill, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch. Bio/drama. Written by Dustin Lance Black. Directed by Gus Van Sant.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Director Gus Van Sant (Paranoid Park, Good Will Hunting), chronicles the life of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to gain political power in San Francisco. After serving on the Board of Supervisors and making huge strides for the gay community, Mr. Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another elected supervisor.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I suspect Iíll be called homophobe for this, but honestly, I donít like viewing men kissing, or being playfully intimate, as if the twosome were preteen girls experimenting with newfound sexuality. If thatís not your cup of tea either, then be forewarned that there is a great deal of such intimacy in Gus Van Santís screen adaptation of Harvey Milkís life story.

Iím also not thrilled with being bombarded by Hollywoodís down-with-Christianity agenda, once ever-so-slightly placed within provocative movies, now as blatantly centered in film after film as Leni Riefenstahlís support of the Fuehrer was in Triumph of the Will. So, beware, there is hostility growing toward Christians or anyone who considers the gay lifestyle a negative influence on our society.

As Americans, it doesnít sit right when someone is kept from the same opportunities as the majority. And Mr. Van Sant knows exactly how to press those justice-for-all buttons. But surely by now we moviegoers have discerned that any particular viewpoint mandated by the moviemaker can seem just, while opposing views can be unfairly ridiculed. Any issue can triumph by a filmís closing credits. Problem being, anyone who takes the Bible as the inspired Word of God, and is unable to escape both the Old and New Testaments assessment of homosexuality, is placed on the Enemies List by those who embrace that lifestyle and by filmmakers who pay little attention to what the Bible says.

Yes, it is involving storytelling, accompanied by intense acting and a polished visceral impact, but it is also heavy-handed, produced with a fierce humanistic design. And while it is, as Harvey Milk is heard to say several times in the film, ďhere to recruit you,Ē ultimately it is a film that will further divide. For though the filmmaker is attempting to woo American sensibilities toward protecting the underdog and seeing that all have equality, it does so by stealthily attempting to further alienate the secular from the spiritual.

Anita Bryant, a one-time beauty contestant/orange juice pitch person, who had the temerity to answer when her views were requested concerning the issue of homosexuality, is the target Harvey and his associates throw darts at throughout the film. And in the film, Ms. Bryant represents Christian America. So, again, be warned.

Itís a sort of call-to-arms, a less than subtle endeavor to divide and conquer. It doesnít merely want to legitimatize a lifestyle. It clearly desires to stifle the Christianís place in politics and society in general. I can only assume by viewing such films ((The Broken Hearts Club, Gods and Monsters, Urbania, Boys Donít Cry, In & Out, Bound, First Wives Club, The Celluloid Closet, Boys On The Side, Beautiful Thing, Chasing Amy, Brokeback Mountain, just to name a few), that gay activists consider those who live by biblical principles to be their enemy. And as the film gives example upon example whereupon Harvey Milk would do anything to achieve his goal, including ďoutingĒ gays afraid to let even their family know of their hidden passions, one gets the impression that gay activists will show little compassion toward us Christians when our rights are systematically withdrawn.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Focus Features

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Some crude sexual remarks

Obscene Language: Around 20 obscenities, mostly the f-word.

Profanity: Three profane uses of Godís name.

Violence: We see cops and gay protestors in a brief skirmish; we hear the mayor being shot to death, then we see Harvey Milk being gunned down at point blank range. Blood: Blood on Harvey as he dies; a man is found dead after hanging himself; we learn of other men committing suicide.

Sex: Several graphic sexual situations, all between men, including a depiction of oral sex.

Nudity: A man swims naked; another man is seen in the nude; a nude photo of a man.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Drug use in one scene and drug use is condoned by the lead; smoking by several characters; social drinking.

Other: None

Running Time: 128 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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