Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
This exceptional, absorbing documentary deservedly takes its place beside films like Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt as it chronicles the terrifying experience of the early days of AIDS. The interview subjects include survivors of the plague who recall the initial outbreak that led to international panic, which then led to activism and the medical breakthroughs that provided hope that this devastation might be conquered in the future. There have been a number of fact-based films to deal with the subject, but what makes this one so special is how very much it focuses on individual personalities and their own heartbreaking memories, of both the trauma of seeing so many of their friends die as well as the strength and unity that came from deciding to fight back. AIDS has become a subject too easily dismissed these days, with people thinking it’s far more in the past than it actually is, and this superb work makes sure to bring it back front and centre.
Cinematography by Marsha Kahm
Produced by David Weissman
Music by Holcombe Waller
Film Editing by Bill Weber