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Directed by Rob Epstein

United States 1984 90 mins.

Epstein’s landmark portrait of Harvey Milk (1930-1978), the first openly gay public-office-holder in United States history, retains its original power through the use of extensive archival footage that brings Milk’s singular, infectious charisma into clear view. Milk, a small business owner in San Francisco’s Castro district, ran for city office in an attempt to uphold community, rather than succumb to corporate interests. But upon election and brief service was, in late 1978, assassinated along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, by rival politician Dan White. Epstein covers Milk’s early life, political service, and the aftermath of his untimely death with aplomb, creating both a portrait of a fearless man and a city overcome with terrible grief over a senseless tragedy. Winner, Academy Award for Best Documentary.