Carol,” the story of a 1950s housewife who falls in love with a female department store clerk, may be set in another era, but the Human Rights Campaign sees it as relevant to the current pursuit of LGBT equality.

Last week, HRC screened the movie at the AMC in Georgetown, with almost 100 attending the event, including Monique and Suhad Dorsainvil and Aditi Hardikar from the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. The movie went into limited release by the Weinstein Co. over the weekend.

It was followed by a panel with producers Christine Vachon and Elizabeth Karlsen, moderated by Ellen Kahn, who is director of the children, youth and families program for HRC.

HRC president Chad Griffin called the movie a “tremendously powerful and beautiful film.”

Stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara “remarkably portray the difficulty of being gay during the 1950s in America, even with ample resources,” he said in a statement. “They also quietly draw out what so many people go to the movies to see – a classic love story.

Their extraordinary performances bring to life in vivid detail an era dominated by stigma, secrecy, and discrimination for LGBT Americans — as well as quiet courage and hope,” he went on. “Today, despite great progress, millions of people continue to face some of these very same challenges. That’s why it’s so important that movies like ‘Carol’ are made —  not only to tell our history, but to show audiences why we must press forward in our urgent pursuit for full LGBT equality.”