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We Were Here (I) (2011)

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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,282 users   Metascore: 94/100
Reviews: 8 user | 33 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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Cast

Credited cast:
Ed Wolf ...
Himself (as Ed) (as Ed Wolf)
Daniel Goldstein ...
Himself (as Daniel) (as Daniel Goldstein)
Guy Clark ...
Himself (as Guy) (as Guy Clark)
Eileen Glutzer ...
Herself (as Eileen) (as Eileen Glutzer)
Bobbi Campbell ...
Himself (archive footage)
Mervyn Silverman ...
Himself - S.F. Health Director (archive footage) (as Dr. Mervyn Silverman)
...
Himself - The Moral Majority (archive footage) (as Rev. Jerry Falwell)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Boneberg ...
Himself
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The AIDS Years in San Francisco


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Release Date:

September 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bili smo ovde  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bobbi Campbell was known as the first person to publicly admit being infected with AIDS, although at that time, it was being referred to as the "mysterious gay cancer". See more »

Crazy Credits

Archival Photos: "many unknown photographers" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Listen Up Philip (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Insightful documentary about the first years of AIDS, and how it affected people
5 December 2011 | by (Amersfoort, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

I saw this film as part of the Ghent filmfestival 2011. At the time of this story (the 80's) the AIDS epidemic was something we read about in newspapers and magazines, at a safe distance so to speak. What I remember most was the long time it took before the underlying causes became clear. There were several theories at first, because no one could find a common denominator for two target groups that suffered most: hard drugs addicts and homosexuals. Nowadays, it is easy for us to see the connection as being obvious.

What we easily overlooked at that time was the impact it had on people that were hit, in combination with the hopelessness of their situation in the absence of a cure. Two quotes I can't wipe from my mind: [1] "Can't go on like this" at a moment that many friends and acquaintances died, without any effective remedy in sight. And quote [2] "Don't want to come out of this war like my father came out of the war he fought in", as if wondering how the world would be after this bad interval was over, and whether residual trauma's were to be expected. Not only quotes like these, but also the honest stories told by survivors that were interviewed, certainly left an impression on us.

All in all, I could do nothing more than giving the maximum score (5 out of 5) for the audience award when leaving the theater. We saw a very comprehensive overview of how people (re)acted on the disease, presented by all sorts of people involved. It also makes us think about possible new diseases that may befall on us. For example bird flu (H5N1) springs to mind, due to a recent publication about related work in Rotterdam (NL). While imagining that such a virus breaks loose, either this one or a new one for that matter, it is difficult to suppress post-apocalyptic visions about what may happen.


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