Estou com AIDS (1986) Poster

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Bizarre Brazilian Mockumentary...
EVOL66625 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Too bad I couldn't understand I AM WITH AIDS - it appeared to be a pretty entertaining bit of Brazilian weirdness that I couldn't quite tell if it was supposed to be "serious" or some sort of joke due to the language barrier of me not speaking Portugese.

THe film shows a bunch of dramatizations of the pitfalls of such "aberrant" behavior as homosexuality, group-sex, sex with prostitutes, working in the porn-industry, and drug-abuse - and how all of these behaviors apparently inevitably result in contracting AIDS and then committing suicide - as all of the individuals in the dramatizations did. There are also a bunch of interviews, though I couldn't decipher the content of these interviews, or whether the interviewees maintained any real knowledge on any aspect of the subject of the AIDS virus - somehow I doubt it...

I AM WITH AIDS is getting a mediocre score from me for two main reasons - as blatantly exploitative as it seemed (which is a good thing in my book...) I just couldn't follow it enough to be sure. I think had it been subbed in English it would have been quite a bit more enjoyable (though I have no real way of knowing that for sure either). Also - though there was some nudity, there was none of the hardcore sex prevalent in other Brazilian exploit films, and this was a bit of a downer too. Overall, I AM WITH AIDS gets a 6/10 from me, for being a somewhat entertaining piece of mockumentary sleaze - might have done a little better had I been able to understand it.
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Sleazy, anti-gay AIDS doc...
gorepump23 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not really sure what to make of "I Am with AIDS" (aka. "Estou com AIDS"), mainly because it's in Portuguese - one of many languages I am not fluent in. It appeared to be a very 'campy' and sleazy anti-homo documentary/mockumentary concerning the forefront of the AIDS crisis...

From the looks of it, some gay dudes are giving women AIDS and everyone is dying. One dude is even about to bone a chick when he gets the call that he is infected (of course, that's what I assume happened since he looked less than happy and she couldn't get out of there fast enough...). The film really just attempts to show the contemptible degeneracy of the ultra-sleazy gay lifestyle of the mid-80s through porn and drug addiction causing the spread of disease.

In that regard, "I Am with AIDS" obviously comes across as very dated and laughably bizarre. At times, I couldn't help but question whether this was meant to be taken seriously or not, but considering the year it was made, I can only assume that it was definitely meant to spread some outrage. I just wish I could've followed along with the dialog and interviews, cuz I'm sure it would've made this flick even more of a hoot as people are writhing in their AIDS scabs and puking their guts out. Pretty strange, sleazy film...

More horror/exploitation reviews by me at
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Pioneer in dealing with the AIDS epidemic in here, very informative but a little wronged
Rodrigo Amaro20 April 2014
Part reality and part fiction, "Estou com AIDS" ("I'm with AIDS") feels like a conscious piece that served to inform viewers about what AIDS was back in the day of its pandemic - it's so in the beginning of that era that people only mention it and HTLV-III, the virus term HIV isn't named at all (though already existing, if I'm not wrong). TV news were all alarming about it, the government made poor campaigns (now we are reference in the treatment, who could have thought?), so the director, known main star of pornochanchadas David Cardoso decided to do the best he could to spread information, destroy myths and present fictional and real stories about the people infected with the virus during its rising era. Though having Cardoso's name behind this project doesn't make people taking it seriously (as I bet it wasn't at time of its release) because he was the king of sexual comedies back in the 1970's and 1980's, I think he did a good job in dealing with a dramatic and real tragedy.

The documentary segment involves Cardoso interviewing artists, singers, doctors, activists and even regular citizens, asking what they think about the disease - some opinions are really good and positive (director Anselmo Duarte was so enthusiastic about a cure coming soon but almost 30 years later very few has changed), others were really held with prejudicial views (remember that this was when AIDS was mostly associated with homosexuals and drug users, and anyone who wasn't part of both groups were paranoid and hateful); a few of the views seem a little bizarre and completely purposeless (like asking a restaurant owner if the number of clients got reduced because of the disease's spread). Mr. Cardoso accomplishes to provide informations but he forgot to include methods of prevention, caution measures and that could have been useful at the time when AIDS was escalating like a forest fire due to the lack of effective campaigns, obscured by acts of prejudice and ignorance, as demonstrated by the case of a hairdresser taken by the police and taken from his family because he had AIDS - the film re-enacts this with an actor at the same time an article about is presented on screen.

Meanwhile, the intertwined fictionalized segment is elucidative, interesting, at times depressive and over-pessimistic. But the director tells things the way it is, getting real and dirty, showing people and their relations and the ways of contagion. He's very open about sexuality (with few graphic scenes) and follows all sorts of situations such as a female porn star demanding that the male actors get cleaned before performing an oral scene and this after she reads a news that Bo Derek was afraid of doing sex scenes in movies; the hemophiliac girl who got AIDS through a transfusion and can't go to school, only hearing the teacher through a sound equipment; the country guy new in town discovering pleasure with multiple men; the fore-mentioned hairdresser story; among others. But the movie could go on without the darker note that most of those characters committed suicide just because they were sick and were about to die any minute. In fact, it's quite rare that those things actually happened, and we know that many people, famous personalities included, fought the disease to their very last day, dying of its many complications - and an even reduced number of people who got the diagnosis back at its worst period are still living, almost miracle cases.

Gets a thumbs up from me for being one of the (if not the very) first films to deal about the taboo topic of AIDS in a touchy society that forced itself to speak out about not only that but also about social and sexual issues, and deal with honesty. One of the most touching moments was the scene involving a father who reveals to his sons about his current health condition and also about his bisexuality. While one of the kids left the room, the one who stayed goes in saying something like "I'm terrible, I'm not the best son in the world, I have a lot of problems but I'll never leave you, dad. I love you". This scene served to show that everything about involving the people affected by this plague wasn't all about abandoning, oblivion, shame and prejudice. The director delivered a good message with this - though failing with all the other characters. 8/10

P.S.: How to judge something without understanding it? Not trying to be annoying or anything but the first reviewer only scratched the surface of this film. There's so much more than just being a "mockumentary". In fact, the movie has plenty of reality in it, except the staged parts with actors and even those managed to be interesting.
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