Sunday, June 20, 2010
Click on the title above to see a slide show of people who went from seeing the film WE WERE HERE at the Castro Theater to discuss the film at the Metropolitan Community Church in the Castro District, San Francisco.
David Weissman and Bill Weber had presented the preview print of their new film, "WE WERE HERE: Voices from the AIDS Years in San Francisco" -- virtually finished, but not an official entry in the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival of 2010.
As you might surmise, the emotional impact of the film is profound. Memories were reawakened of the pains and war-like losses from the worst days of the epidemic. The audience was very silent, and when the first person burst into terrible sobbing, the silence seemed intensely gathered around the sobbing as others were crying more silently. We were aware of how long we have chosen not to remember, especially not to soar over the long unfolding of the epidemic and struggles to bring medical help to bear -- or how memory had not counted then as people knew they simply had to do what had to be done, and it was dangerous to stop and take a wide view. Some caretakers were finally overwhelmed and had to stop. It is a testament to all those who came to the aid of those who were dying, with a well-selected cross section, from the nurse in an AIDS clinic to a man who lives with HIV, having lost two lovers to AIDS along the way. The film is a testament to the love and community solidarity that it generated. For one thing, the film give credit to the lesbian community whose support was heroic. But it silly of me to describe the film and its participants when you will be seeing it later.
In the next entry on this blog is one of the verses I wrote during that period.