Monday 21 Apr

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

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | 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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