We Were Here (2011)
December 8, 2014 7:37 AM - Subscribe

An intimate and moving documentary about the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco, told through interviews with just five people who lived through its beginnings.

Widely praised by critics, the film creates a deep connection with the story of AIDS, which can be extrapolated into a connection with what it means to respond to any crisis, to any death, or to any form of oppression.
posted by latkes (1 comment total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I really appreciated the choice to keep this movie small, to just tell these few stories instead of trying to encyclopedically interview as many survivors as possible. The people they chose showed a range of early survivor experiences - some lived by random chance, some because of circumstance. I was touched particularly by Ed Wolf, the guy who describes having been bad at casual sex, and whose social discomfort and shyness ultimately protected him from exposure to the virus, and then made him especially good at being a caregiver.

As a nurse, I also got a lot from hearing from Eileen Glutzer about what it was like to be a medical provider at that time. You could sort of see her brain having this choice early on: react to fear, or just assume that caring for everyone is the right choice, and she clicked to the Do the Right Thing side.

I saw this at the Castro Theater which was awesome. There was this weird moment during the Q&A after when someone had a science-y question about the newer HIV drugs and the filmmaker said something like, "None of us are experts on the research" but Eileen Glutzer actually is an expert on the research - that's what she does - and maybe because she's a woman and a nurse (not a physician) he had sort of forgotten that. He corrected himself but it was an awkward moment.
posted by latkes at 7:45 AM on December 8, 2014

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