Milk and Cheese

English: Harvey Milk (far right) campaigning f...

English: Harvey Milk (far right) campaigning for the California State Assembly with longshoremen in 1976 Русский: Харви Милк (справа) агитирует портовых грузчиков во время предвыборной кампании в Ассамблею штата Калифорния, 1976 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Film Review:

As both the Uk and France now have a gay marriage act, now seemed a good time to bring out my review of the film I saw a month or two back..

 Milk – being the film of the name Milk and about the person Harvey Milk. Cheese being the film National Treasure: Book of Secrets  2007 with Nicolas Cage et al – cast list below.

This was about treasure hunting and – surely aimed at kids despite the PG licence for violence – by Disney – with lots of plagiarism from the Harrison Ford films except not set in a South American Jungle – clearly no budget for that! Although it did have a relatively high budget apparently and may now be the second of a series. Nicolas Cage seeing himself as Harrison Ford but a few years younger no doubt. Equally handsome but somehow less convincing in the devil-may-care stakes.

It was the sequel to part one and did amazingly well Box Office wise… rated 6.5 from 281 reviews on imdb website but received a mixed response from the critics.

The cast of course was very ‘high-class’ but yet not convincing.

  • Nicolas Cage as Benjamin Franklin “Ben” Gates
  • Justin Bartha as Riley Poole: Ben’s best friend
  • Diane Kruger as Dr. Abigail Chase: Ben’s colleague and girlfriend
  • Jon Voight as Patrick Henry Gates: Ben’s father
  • Harvey Keitel as FBI Special Agent Sadusky
  • Alicia Coppola as FBI Special Agent Spellman
  • Ed Harris as Mitch Wilkinson: A black market dealer
  • Bruce Greenwood as President of the United States
  • Helen Mirren as Dr. Emily Appleton: Ben’s mother


Works as movie to watch when your mind is distracted by flu – as mine still is – week 3 and still no voice – in fact taught for a morning and literally no voice the next and had to spend the morning in bed part asleep and part watching this National Treasure movie. It didn’t take my full concentration to follow the plot!


Milk now was a different kettle of fish indeed.  This was more a 4.5 star film – can’t quite decide which so ..this film was based on a real-life story – that of Harvey Milk the Gay Rights Campaigner of the 1970s in San Francisco. He lived and worked in the San Francisco areas that became not just gay friendly but gay run and eventually gay activist.

Then came the potential law for California – Proposition 6 –  that had been passed in so many other US States that would have taken away all employment protection for gays and would also have prevented gays from holding particular jobs such teachers. The right wing churches were behind this law and included a nasty slur about gays being paedophiles. They claimed that gays were not born this way but were made gay, usually by teachers. They justified their claim by saying that gays couldn’t have children and thus there was no gay gene that they could pass on – ignoring the whole lesbian issue of course, who could have children. Also if gayness was a gene then 2 straight parents couldn’t have a gay child. Milk responded with statistics compiled by law enforcement that provided evidence that paedophiles identified primarily as heterosexual, and dismissed Briggs’ assertions with one-liner jokes: “If it were true that children mimicked their teachers, you’d sure have a helluva lot more nuns running around”.

One interesting thing about the film was they were very careful when casting to try and get actors who looked something like the original players in the political life of Milk. has a good bio of Harvey.

Harvey Milk’s political career centred on making government responsive to individuals, gay liberation, and the importance of neighbourhoods to the city. At the onset of each campaign, an issue was added to Milk’s public political philosophy. His 1973 campaign focused on the first point, that as a small business owner in San Francisco—a city dominated by large corporations that had been courted by municipal government—his interests were being overlooked because he was not represented by a large financial institution. Although he did not hide the fact that he was gay, it did not become an issue until his race for the California State Assembly in 1976. It was brought to the fore in the supervisor race against Rick Stokes, as it was an extension of his ideas of individual freedom.

Milk strongly believed that neighbourhoods promoted unity and a small-town experience, and that the Castro should provide services to all its residents. He opposed the closing of an elementary school; even though most gay people in the Castro did not have children, Milk saw his neighbourhood having the potential to welcome everyone. He told his aides to concentrate on fixing potholes and boasted that 50 new stop signs had been installed in District 5.  Responding to city residents’ largest complaint about living in San Francisco—dog faeces—Milk made it a priority to enact the ordinance requiring dog owners to take care of their pets’ droppings. Randy Shilts noted, “some would claim Harvey was a socialist or various other sorts of ideologues, but, in reality, Harvey’s political philosophy was never more complicated than the issue of dogshit; government should solve people’s basic problems.”



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