Wednesday 30 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Documentary · We Were Here

We Were Here

Phil Bacharach November 23rd, 2011

It would have been understandable had “We Were Here” veered into the maudlin. The documentary, which recounts how San Francisco’s gay community united in the 1980s to combat the AIDS epidemic, has its share of gut-wrenching stories. But the film is admirably no-frills.

Screening Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, “We Were Here” is spare, somber and unsentimental.

It is also thoroughly inspiring. Directors David Weissman and Bill Weber illustrate AIDS’ devastating impact on San Francisco by narrowing the focus to a handful of interview subjects.

The interviewees — gay-rights activist Paul Boneberg, florist Guy Clark, nurse Eileen Glutzer, artist Daniel Goldstein and counselor Ed Wolf — depict how the city spiraled from a beacon of sexual freedom to a community mired in death.

Wolf recalls first learning about AIDS when he saw photographs posted on a drugstore window. The pictures showed a man wasting away and covered in mysterious lesions.

“Watch out, guys,” read a caption under the photos. “There’s something out there.”

But “We Were Here” is not a tale of defeat. With roughly half of San Francisco’s gay population impacted by AIDS, the tight-knit community joined forces and did what needed to be done for those infected. With minimal use of archival footage or photos, the documentary gives its interviewees room to bear witness.

Their stories are undeniably heartbreaking, but also reveal strength and — at the risk of invoking what might be the overused word of this decade — resilience.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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