Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 1990. Couterie, Home Box Office, Telling Pictures. Screenplay by Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Cindy Ruskin. Cinematography by Jean de Segonzac, Dyanna Taylor. Produced by Bill Couturie, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman. Music by Bobby McFerrin. Film Editing by Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman. Academy Awards 1989.
Just about every AIDS-themed movie made in the early nineties, from And The Band Played On to Philadelphia, owes something to this beautiful documentary. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman interview six people who have lost friends, lovers and/or family to the terrifying epidemic of AIDS, and they each tell their stories of those they lost, about their lives and the days leading up to their deaths. Also included is footage from the Washington AIDS Quilt memorial, where thousands of people each continue to contribute a piece of cloth with a fallen member’s name stitched on it that altogether has made a massive statement of hope for the future. After a decade of finger-pointing and the homophobia and xenophobia that resulted from the outbreak of the disease in the early eighties, this wonderful film came along to put a human face on, as Madonna coined it, the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century. The film is edited with immense skill, the stories told with heartbreaking honesty, and the experience will be absolutely unforgettable.