A vital contribution
to queer and political cinema…
Campillo has given his movie the breath of true life.
[a] heart-bursting group portrait.
Full of cinematic life
combines elegy, tragedy,
urgency and a defiant euphoria.
In Paris in the early 1990s, a group of activists goes to battle for those stricken with HIV/AIDS, taking on sluggish government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies in bold, invasive actions. The organization is ACT UP, and its members, many of them gay and HIV-positive, embrace their mission with a literal life-or-death urgency. Amid rallies, protests, fierce debates and ecstatic dance parties, the newcomer Nathan falls in love with Sean, the group’s radical firebrand, and their passion sparks against the shadow of mortality as the activists fight for a breakthrough.
About Act Up Paris
Act Up-Paris was created on June 26th 1989 upon the occasion of an upcoming Gay Pride parade during which fifteen or so activists then staged the first “die-in” lying down on the street with- out uttering a single word. On their t-shirts was the equation: Silence=Death. And a pink triangle – the badge imposed upon homosexual men de- ported during WWII, but turned around with its point upwards – representing their resolve to be a strong opposition to the epidemic which had decimated thousands of gays. Act Up-Paris was born, replicating the model of Act Up-New York, founded in 1987.
Act Up’s origins stem from anger at the medical, political and religious establishments whose pas- sivity and prejudices were, and still are today, at the heart of this epidemic’s human disaster. The same anger is what drove those who were strick- en to ght against the silence and make them- selves visible. Indeed, the point was to make the illness visible, make the sick visible, and no lon- ger allow institutions to decide our fate. This is what Act Up-Paris is all about.