Toshio Meronek

'We Were Here': How AIDS Changed San Francisco

Filed By Toshio Meronek | October 08, 2011 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Gay Icons and History
Tags: David Weissman, HIV/AIDS, We Were Here

we-were-here.jpgMattilda already posted about We Were Here last year. But the emotionally affecting film continues to play in theaters around the country, because who doesn't like weeping in the dark with strangers? I just saw it, and yeah, I cried.

We Were Here revolves around the stories of five people who lived in San Francisco during the first-wave AIDS epidemic. For them and many other people, few friends from that time are alive today. In addition to being a total tear-jerker, it's also an anger-inducer, because it's a reminder that if the crisis had happened to people with a little more political pull, life-sustaining care would have come sooner. Instead, almost an entire population died out, pushing the historically queer Castro neighborhood of SF to become what it is today: a place you go to buy Diesel jeans and sip lemongrass-tinis.

On the upside, you hear about the way HIV/AIDS brought previously very divided gays and lesbians together, plus you learn about the San Francisco health care model. It's still the only big city in the United States that provides free health care to locals.

We Were Here is playing in Palm Springs, New York, San Francisco and Toronto right now, with more screenings across the United States coming up soon.

A video from the film is after the jump.


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