Milk, 2008; Directed by Gus Van Sant essay sample

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Van Sant, Gus, dir. Milk. Axon Films Groundswell Productions Jinks/Cohen Company, 2008. Film.

Thesis statement: The film Milk suggests that the evolution of public consciousness takes place only when a personal courage to offer changes and shape public attitude to them is supported by a strong political will.

Topic Sentence 1: Political changes transform the life of a community and shape the relationships between its members.

Topic Sentence 2: Political changes are triggered by individuals with an accurate strategic vision, and who have courage and determination to achieve it.

Topic Sentence 3: Regardless of the prospects of the proposed changes, they do not occur unless there is a strong political will.

Scene 1: Archival footage of police raiding gay bars. - It is the title scene of the film, and it is very important to understand the role of political will in shaping public consciousness. In the period between the 1950s and the 1960s, police raided gay bars and arrested their patrons. Such actions shaped the public attitude to the visitors of these bars. Gays were stigmatized, and it led to tension in communities.

Scene 2: Milk and Smith move to San Francisco and open Castro Camera. - This scene suggests that some social and political changes are brewing for years, but they do not occur unless there is someone who has courage to implement them. Eureka Valley is a working-class neighborhood that is in the process of evolving into a predominantly gay neighborhood. However, this transformation is impossible with an external catalyst, and Milk’s courage to open Castro Camera is such a trigger.

Scene 3: John Briggs sponsors Proposition 6 and a nationwide conservative movement. This scene demonstrates that many political changes face with barriers to their implementation. Even if the public are ready to leave their comfort zone and accept changes, the latter will not be realized if there is no political will. John Briggs and his supporters have the power to recognize the rights of the homosexual community, but they do not have the political will to do this.

Introductory Paragraph: The role of political initiatives in community can be hardly underestimated. They transform the life of people through changing their attitude to the realities and to each other. The validity of this assertion can be examined in the context of the Gay Rights Movement that is reflected in Van Sant’s Milk. The film describes the life and political career of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man winning a Seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the third openly homosexual politician in the United States. In 1978, Milk uses his political influence to defeat Proposition 6, sponsored by John Briggs and supported by the conservative part of the national population. The proposition that significantly infringes the rights of California’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community is supported by the local authority. While approaching Milk’s political struggle, the present paper seeks to prove that the evolution of public consciousness takes place only when a personal courage to offer changes …

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