Doc on Murdered Gay Politician to Screen in Bangkok

Harvey Milk at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in June, 1978

BANGKOK — The massacre at an American gay club that struck a chord worldwide continues to resound in Thailand, where more open LGBT political activism has come out of the closet.

Joining the conversation, Bangkok’s active documentary film community will screen a vintage biodoc about the first openly gay politician to be elected to office in the United States.

Oscar award-winning film “The Times of Harvey Milk,” about the California politician’s rise and tragic end, will screen later this month along with two panel discussions led by LGBT activists at an event hosted by the Documentary Club and Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.

Directed by Rob Epstein, the 90-minute movie from 1984 depicts not only Milk’s career and private life but also the greater context of the birth of the LGBT civil rights movement. The 48-year-old San Francisco county supervisor was shot to death in City Hall by a colleague.


Made after Milk’s assassination, the feature uses original interviews, private footage and news reports.


The film was among 25 films selected for preservation in 2012 and entered into the National Film Registry in America along with “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) and “The Matrix” (1999). A dramatic account was made in 2008 starring Sean Penn.

Admission is 100 baht. The film, in English with Thai subtitles, starts at 4pm on July 19 in the fifth-floor auditorium of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. The panel discussion will begin after the screening at about 6pm with Paisarn Likhitpreechakul and Pimsiri Petchnamrob, who organized a vigil in Bangkok following the Orlando nightclub shooting.

It’s the first entry in Documentary Club’s new “Doc + Talk” series taking on serious social issues monthly through December.