575 Castro Street: It’s About Giving Young People Hope

575 Castro Street: It’s About Giving Young People Hope

575 Castro St. is an extremely moving short film by Jenni Olson, set in the Castro Camera Store where Harvey Milk lived and worked during the late 1970’s.  The sensibility of 575 Castro St. hearkens back to the style of the dozens of Super 8 gay short films of the 1970s that passed through Harvey Milk’s hands to be processed and developed at the Castro Camera Store.  The film is especially poignant in light of the recent suicide of Tyler Clementi, as well as the suicides of other young people.  This film was shot with audio of Harvey Milk from a 1977 recording, outlining Harvey’s wishes in the event of his assassination.

575 Castro St. reveals the play of light and shadow upon the walls of the Castro Camera Store set for Gus Van Sant’s film Milk.  The mundane shots are almost bereft of movement and sound.  So quiet, so still.  All the better to showcase the range of emotions evoked by Harvey Milk’s words on the soundtrack.  He concludes his comments by telling listeners that the gay movement, or his efforts as a part of that movement, is mainly about giving young people hope.  And that message remains an ever so important one today: “You gotta’ give them hope.”

575 Castro Street: It’s About Giving Young People Hope

Harvey Milk: You Gotta’ Give Them Hope

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