Discussion Questions for “Milk”
- Examine the images and the newspaper articles used in the film’s title sequence. What do they reveal about the issues depicted in the film?
- Examine the banners and posters used in the demonstrations and comment on how these form a contrast to the newspapers articles shown in the title sequence. What does such a contrast reveal about how sexual orientation is perceived differently?
- What is the significance of the Castro both for straight and gay people?
- What does the protesting of Coors beer reveal about the gay community as depicted in the film?
- In what ways is Milk’s politics different from that of the owner of the Advocate magazine?
- Why does Milk ask his staff not to use the lift but the stairs instead in the City Hall?
- What do you think Puccini’s Tosca signifies in the film?
- Comment on the following quotes from the film: “I am not a candidate; I am part of a movement. The movement is the candidate.” /“A homosexual with power. That’s scary.” /“I know you’re angry! I’m angry!” / “Privacy is the enemy.”
- Comment on Milk’s pinning the death threat letter on the fridge. Why is his act symbolic?
- Chris Jones from Esquire states that Milk lived a theatrical life and therefore that his being killed alone in an office could be quite significant. What could be the reason(s) for Jones’s argument?
- Why does Milk call the Democratic Party “the Machine”?
- What does the film reveal about the relationship between politics, economic power and the gay movement?
© Ali Nihat Eken, İstanbul, March 2008.
Useful links: About Harvey Milk /