120 beats per minute

I highly recommend this two-hour plus historical drama about gay activism in the late 1980s/early 1990s by French writer-director Robin Campillo’s 120 Beats Per Minute.  Centring on the activist group Act Up-Paris, an offshoot of the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power that started in New York in 1987, it serves as a snapshot of those who resisted in the early days of the disease’s global pandemic. The film lives its “politics in the first person”, showing how Act Up lobbied for legislation, research and treatment for those with HIV/Aids, while also tracking a tender romance between two of its members.  it is sensitively filmed, very emotional, and quite explicit in some scenes , but the acting is great. of course I ended up in tears, remembering the friends who we did lose in that time, who now would be alive due to the discovery of better drugs.

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