Insert Film Title and Director Here: Milk, Gus Van Sant
1. Develop a thesis pertaining to the assigned film text and whether or not it, the film, in your view has the power to transform one’s political sensibilities. Your argument should express your point of view regarding the politics of difference, political sensibilities, and political transformation(s) as related to the film. Remember, you’re writing (developing) an analytical essay. Submit your thesis statement in the box below:
ex) 1a. The film Milk provides insight into the persecution of homosexuals in the 1970s, and seeing the struggle for political equality from their perspective gives those that may not be sensitive to the cause reason to change their sensibilities.
2. Develop three (3) topic sentences that articulate the major ideas that will comprise the body of your essay. Remember that your topic sentences should clearly state the argument or point to be made in the respective paragraphs. Submit your topic sentences in the box below:
ex) 2a. Descriptions of gays being fired, beaten, shot at, and killed expose the ugliest side of homophobia to an audience that may be ignorant. 2. A debate between Supervisor Milk and Senator Briggs shows the basis of Proposition 6 to be nothing more than hate, rather than concern for heterosexual children. 3. Milk’s quoting the Declaration of Independence appeals to a desire for equality that has burned in the hearts of Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, since the Founding Fathers.
3. Identify three (3) scenes from the film that support your thesis statement. Briefly explain
ex) 3a. Cleve Jones’s description of “blood flowing in the gutters” of Spain, spilled by Gays, Lesbians, Transgender individuals and their heterosexual compatriots rioting for political and social equality, fills the watcher with empathy. 2. Supervisor Harvey Milk debates with Senator Briggs in San Francisco then again in Fullerton. Briggs claims that homosexuals become teachers to recruit children to that kind of lifestyle. Milk points out how he was raised by heterosexual parents, taught by heterosexual teachers and became gay anyway. 3. After receiving a death threat, Milk goes before a public audience and quotes the Declaration of Independence, saying “all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights.” He then addresses the desire of bigots to erase those words from the document.
4. Lastly, fully develop your introductory paragraph. Remember that the best possible thesis will answer some specific question about the text. In this case a question related to the film’s power to transform political sensibilities regarding difference:
ex) 4a. The film Milk provides insight into the persecution of homosexuals in the 1970s, and seeing the struggle for political equality from their perspective gives those that may not be sensitive to the cause reason to change their sensibilities. The characters represented in the film are portrayed with such a vulnerability and psychological depth that the watcher has no choice but to accept the reality of the situations depicted. By watching the film, the viewer is brought into the struggles of Harvey Milk and his peers, and can’t help but take his side as he fights for equality and acceptance in a world against him.
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