Film & Ideology - Milk

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Assignment 2 – Film and Ideology

The definition of the word ideology can be represented in many ways. Today’s basic understanding of the word can be defined as “the body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture” (Farlex, 2009).Gus Van Sant’s exceptional biopic Milk (Gus Van Sant, 2008) depicts the story of Harvey Milk, the slain gay-rights activist who became the first openly gay man elected to any substantial political office in the history of the planet. Harvey Milk’s life changed history – his courage still motivates people today, his ideals still teach people today and his hope still inspire people today. The release of Milk in 2008 has helped to bring back a new sense of
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Throughout Milk we can see that Harvey, though a very passionate gay-rights activist, is not only looking out for the queer folk. He holds dear to the ideal that everyone is equal. In a way he embodies what Kinsey and Freud say. He did not believe in just one norm. In his fight for gay-rights he isn’t trying to one-up the vast heterosexual majority by over throwing them and getting homosexuals to run the world, he is merely trying to get them to see that homosexuals are no different from any other person. Harvey Milk was trying to break down the social barriers that led to narrow minded thinking of just one social norm. In Milk during one of the public rally’s he had, Harvey said that “all men are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words” – he believed these words with all his heart. To Harvey Milk, he wasn’t just fighting for gay-rights; he was fighting for a way of life that did not constrict its citizens to conform to just one social norm.
Milk, Gus Van Sant’s film project that was close to two decades in the making, was released on the 26th of November 2008 and marks the 30th anniversary of Harvey Milk’s death and the brief but brilliant political career he led. Harvey Milk was unfortunately gunned down on November 27th 1978, three weeks after his biggest political victory. The San Francisco city supervisor had been in office less than a year when he spearheaded a
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