‘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. 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.
I started watching this last week (you can watch it here), but at the time it was too hard to finish because, quite frankly, it is unnerving to see unless you know your HIV status - whether you’re gay or straight.
Now that I know I can breathe a sigh of relief, I’ve watched it all and I think you should too.
If all goes according to plan, I’ll be specialising in Public Health soon with a focus on HIV/AIDS and, in particular, its prevalence and risk factors among sexual minorities. From that aspect alone this film was awesome, but whether gay or straight it will force some useful introspection that even the best of HIV/AIDS campaigns would fail to do.