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We Were Here (I) (2011)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,130 users   Metascore: 94/100
Reviews: 7 user | 32 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

A deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis.

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Title: We Were Here (2011)

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Ed Wolf ...
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Paul Boneberg ...
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Daniel Goldstein ...
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Guy Clark ...
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Eileen Glutzer ...
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Bobbi Campbell ...
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Guy Clark ...
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Storyline

'We Were Here' is the first film to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco, and how the City's inhabitants dealt with that unprecedented calamity. It explores what was not so easy to discern in the midst of it all - the parallel histories of suffering and loss, and of community coalescence and empowerment. Though this is a San Francisco based story, the issues it addresses extend not only beyond San Francisco but also beyond AIDS itself. 'We Were Here' speaks to our societal relationship to death and illness, our capacity as individuals to rise to the occasion, and the importance of community in addressing unimaginable crises. Written by Anonymous

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September 2011 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

I was there
22 September 2011 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

I went to see "We Were Here" today at the Cinéma-Village theater in New York. I was afraid it would disappear before I got the chance to see it. This movie was recommended by a friend who is a producer at KQED in San Francisco as being the ultimate resource on San Francisco during the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Along with Randy Shilts's seminal book, "And the Band Played on," he was certainly right.

One great element of "We Were Here" is that it gives several quite different perspectives on what the HIV epidemic in San Francisco was like at that time: Ed, the misfit who found his place in the gay community by volunteering with people with AIDS early in the epidemic; Daniel, the Jewish artist who felt he had found his true family among San Francisco's gay men and then lost them all within a few painful years; Paul, the high-profile political activist; Guy, the big-hearted, philosophical black flower vendor; and Eileen, the lesbian nurse who served at ground zero of the epidemic and stuck with it with grit and compassion to the end.

Like Ed, I didn't fit in well in the "gay community" during my years in San Francisco. So disconnected was I that I did not know a lot of what was happening in the early and mid-1980s, although I remember Guy the florist, who always had a smile for every passerby on the street corner where he worked, and I remember James Harning, a beautiful young man who died a hard death in 1992. "We Were Here" helped me understand much of what was going on all around me in those days. It will do the same for others who weren't "there," for reasons of either age or geography, and it will be a moving, bittersweet reminder for those who did survive those difficult years in San Francisco.


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