Early 1990s. With AIDS having already claimed countless lives for nearly ten years, Act up-Paris activists multiply actions to fight general indifference. Nathan, a newcomer to the group, has his world shaken up by Sean, a radical militant, who throws his last bits of strength into the struggle.
Campillo and co-screenwriter Philippe Mangeot drew on their personal experiences with ACT UP in developing the story. One scene was also based on Campillo's experience with the AIDS epidemic, as he said "I've dressed up a boyfriend on his death". See more »
After the incursion in the lab, the group gathered in the subway; in the background we can see a Score games ad. Score games first shop was opened in 1992 in Paris, although the action is supposed to be set in 1989. See more »
A story with a particular historical moment in mind has been rendered timeless. A random first generation Gameboy generates a temporal whiplash, as the film's events are portrayed as contemporary catastrophes. Silence equates to death, and the team meeting in a college lecture hall has dwindling numbers, yet deafening shouts.
A prejudicial plague scorches France, bringing an already tight-knit community into a blood brotherhood. ACT UP is a guerrilla group full of eventual corpses. The HIV epidemic has threatened their love and survival. Pharmaceutical companies have cubical indifference as antidotes are sluggishly distributed by financial logistics.
As the non-violent vigilantes face just as many internal conflicts as press-generated woes, their operations grow in scale and creativity. Their weekly conferences have an intentional cadence complete with respectful snaps, hisses, and hand signals designed to facilitate the mutual understanding that has gone extinct beyond the university walls.
Sean is one of he founding members, and has some of the worst test results. He is the loudest in any given demonstration, and celebrates harder than all his peers. ACT UP is Sean's final lifeline, and his involvement resounds as a funeral dirge among a thunderous parade.
Campillo has delivered another dialogue driven barrage of human desperation. The sprinkling of establishing shots offer a reprieve from the claustrophobic disputes between the positives and the businessmen impartial to death. An important angle to an understated tragedy that shaped legislation in the most vital ways.
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