If you want to fully savor the substance of Gus Van Sant's biopic about assassinated gay activist and San Francisco Supervisor, Harvey Milk
, and see why Sean Penn's performance as the "mayor of Castro Street" is churning Best Actor Oscar buzz, watch Rob Epstein's Oscar-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk
As a double bill, narrative and nonfiction features are a worthy and moving memorial to a slain civic hero who, like JFK, RFK and Martin Luther King, Jr., changed America for the better.
Van Sant, Penn and Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black widely acknowledge the documentary's importance as their research source. Van Sant even uses original footage Epstein gathered for the documentary.
Milk is now playing in theaters. The Times of Harvey Milk is available on DVD, and it's currently streaming for free on Hulu.com.The Times of Harvey Milk is an essential chaser for Milk. See them both.