ACT UP in Berlin

James Wentzy's film documentary, "Fight Back, Fight AIDS – 15 Years of ACT UP," has been accepted for screening next month by the 53rd Berlin International Film Festival.

Fight Back, Fight AIDS – 15 Years of ACT UP von James Wentzy (USA)

From the Festival site [my translation from the German]:

Absent for years from the Berlinale, AIDS appears again as a topic of feature films in the Festival's Competition and Panorama theaters. Two documentary films examine socio-political issues [the second, also an American film, is Louise Hogarth's The Gift]: As gays began to die like flies in the 80's, the world looked away. ACT UP became, for the media, the voice of AIDS: And the world was shocked that this the most easy-going of minorities was able to apply itself to deal with the crisis, to ACT UP, to shout back. This film shows how the media-savy actions of this loose organization came about and how AIDS politicized the gay world and moved it to assume real responsibility: Ashes are thrown onto the lawn of the White House of an ignorant President Bush senior, corpses are laid out in front of the two-faced Clinton--and the film historian Vito Russo (who was at the Panorama theatre in 1983 with his lecture, "The Celluloid Closet") is shown delivering his last great speech.
In November I announced the screening of the film here in New York, and after seeing it, wrote:
The ACT UP documentary was beautiful, but for all the evidence of the success of the activism it records, the reminders of how little has changed in the world in fifteen years is a horrible concomitance. Bush, war in the middle east, health care, drug company profiteering, oil, greed and stupidity. There were also the images of so many activists whose lives were destroyed at the height of their beauty and their powers. I would not have missed this screening for anything, but it was a melancholy, if not terrifying, experience, and one which an intelligent and generous world could have prevented.

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Published on January 27, 2003 1:37 AM.

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