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Michael T. Weiss,
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Perhaps the first film to put a human face on the AIDS epidemic, Longtime Companion follows the lives of a small circle of friends from the first mention of the disease in the New York Times in 1981. First referred to as "Gay-Related-Immune-Disorder," we watch the effect of the disease as it devastates the lives of our protagonists. Jumping between Manhattan and Fire Island, vignettes carry us from the it-couldn't-happen-to-me mentality of the early days of the disease to the invasive effect it has had on all of our lives, today. The title of the film comes from the New York Times' refusal to acknowledge homosexual relationships in their obituary section during this period. Instead, survivors were referred to as "Longtime Companions" of the deceased.Written by
Mark Fleetwood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A well written and acted movie about Aids and it's impact on a group of friends in the beginning of public awareness of this disease...
When I watched this for the first time, I like many that went through this time period, identified with most of the characters in this movie at one time or another. I had my sister watch this movie (a devoted Pentecostal) she said it was the sadist thing she had ever seen. I felt that she got the message, Gay or Straight, this was a tragedy that had happened to everyday people, and still is happening, and not just to "those people". She, like many, never wanted to see past the homosexual thing. With this film she saw a clip of life, albeit a condensed version, of how something so out of control entered, affected and was handled by people like herself both gay and straight. I told her that was the way it I felt it was for many of us dealing with this disease that had taken so many of my friends and colleagues. I also liked how this movie didn't victimize, or make a villain out of any of the characters nor did it make anyone a saint either. I felt the topic was handled with good taste, considering how it was something most people didn't want to think about. With the majority of the audience being straight and secure in the fact that this only happened to other people who were deserving of what they got. I also felt that this movie showed the truth although a bit Hollywood and too polished (not a docudrama, definitely a movie) it did a good job of making a difficult subject much more palatable and sympathetic to folks that had never had it happen to them or to those they love. The progression of the movie conveyed the feeling most had in regards to how fast things happened. One day someone was here the next they were gone. I also felt that the actors, many non gay, did brilliant performances not playing stereotype's but keeping it real as it should be. Since most gay men and women I know don't act all that different from everyone else. I for one am tired of gays being portrayed as only hair stylist and drag queens, much as I am sure African-Americans were tired of their stereotypes of only being the hired help or as ignorant simpletons. This was not the best movie I have ever seen, but I feel it is one of the best dealing with this subject matter. The end of this movie still gets to me, every time I see it, if only that could happen like that, I too "just want to be there"
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