Being a Christian and also a filmmaker, I see a lot of people in my community putting walls up against this film (and all films that portray the LGBTQ community - the best of which also come from Van Sant) unjustly. This is a film for all people who are encouraged by stories of liberation from abuse.
It is rousing, inspiring, beautiful, heartfelt, heart-breaking, and deeply moving. Gus Van Sant is an important figure in the world of American indie cinema, and he always will be. This is the type of work that cements one's legacy in the history books.
It was a truly harrowing time for homosexuals, but Milk does a good job showing how they were able to band together in order to show their strength. The film also does a good job of showing most of the opposition in film clips, so instead of dramatizing to accentuate their "villainy," they just let history speak for itself.
I struggled a lot with all the indecision there seemed to be from the filmmakers on how much focus would go on Harvey Milk's personal life. At times they connect his relationship and his battle to make a change, then at other times the whole movie stops so we can spend a moment talking to the boyfriend.
I think Milk is an important biopic that tries to make it clear how difficult the struggle has been from the very beginning for homosexuals to attain even the most basic of rights. While I think it had some flaws, and it ends on a tough emotional note, it is a movie I'm glad I have seen. It tells details of a story that I didn't know much about before.