by In Wales
Sat Feb 28th, 2009 at 12:38:45 PM EST
(This was started as an OT comment but I thought I may as well diary it.)
I saw Milk on Thursday night. What a fantastic film. Izzy has already reviewed it but I was so impressed with Sean Penn, he fully deserved that Oscar. When the credits roll it gives clips/photos of the real people at the time along with trivia on what happened to them after the time of Harvey's Milk's assassination. the clip of Harvey himself, showed what an amazing job that Sean Penn did in playing him.
But it did also bring home how huge the fight has been for gay rights, and the fact that we are teetering in quite a dangerous place right now, certainly in the UK, where a change in Government risks undoing a great deal of that good work.
I also saw two other films; Cowboy and James.
Gay Entertainment Report: 'Cowboy' Takes Iris Prize | On Top Magazine :: Gay & Lesbian News, Entertainment, Commentary & Travel
In Kleinert's Cowboy, city dweller Christian comes to a deserted village where he meets a country lad with whom he spends the day and night. When harvest starts at dawn, the village shows its real face and the two men are forced to pay a terrible price in order to leave.
This was quite haunting, and erotic. And then turned very weird and freaky in the last couple of scenes. Winner of the 2008 Iris Prize - Cardiff based gay film festival.
James has learnt to be withdrawn and secretive in a family with long buried secrets.
Lonely and confused, he is drawn to one of his schoolteachers, Mr Sutherland, focusing
on him as the one person who might understand his inner turmoil. When an older man approaches
him in a public toilet, James panics and calls his mother, but refuses to tell her what happened.
Late that night, James listens to his parents arguing about him. His fathers offhanded dismissal
of his mothers concern results in a vicious row. When a devastated James turns to Mr Sutherland
for help, the teachers response leads James to take an irrevocable step.
This one has won many other prizes and has been selected for the 2009 Sundance festival. The director was there to talk about the film. Very moving. Again, it raises very contemporary issues around gay children in school. Homophobic bullying is a huge issue, and children struggling with their sexuality need far more support and understanding than they currently receive.
The LGBT Excellence Centre has been going around schools in Wales running workshops to tackle homophobic bullying. They also take on casework and counselling for LGBT people.
The films have been shown as part of LGBT history month with a number of events going on across the UK to celebrate this.
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month UK
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans History Month takes place every year in February. It celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community. We are committed to celebrate its diversity and that of the society as a whole. We encourage everyone to see diversity and cultural pluralism as the positive forces that they are and endeavour to reflect this in all we do.
Especially with a film like Milk to raise the profile of LGBT struggles (I'd never heard of the man before) it is important to keep reminding people that the rights we have now have been fought hard for and are too valuable to get complacent about.