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A Synopsis of We Were Here

By gpart24 May 02, 2013 659 Words
“We Were Here” Extra Credit
The documentary film, “We Were Here”, was produced and directed by David Weissman. The film revolves around the thoughts and experiences of the people who were around when the disease, AIDS was first discovered. The film involved many residents of San Francisco, more specifically, the Castro. Many people were interviewed for this film; some of those people were Guy, Eileen, Paul, Daniel, and Ed. The men and woman interviewed in the film are homosexual and have many memories of the day when they first heard about AIDS. During the late 1970s, San Francisco was the place to be. It was known to be liberal, in the sense that they did not discriminate against homosexuals. Many homosexuals came to San Francisco so they can be “themselves”. They created a community in the neighborhood of the Castro where they could live the way they wanted to and feel accepted by others around them. Here they felt like they belonged because where they were before they left like outcasts. As said in the film, 1981 was the year that started it all. This was the year when people started to hear about AIDS. However, it was introduced as the “mysterious gay cancer” because it first presented in gay men. So when people heard about it, it was associated with the gay community. No one knew anything about this disease but every one was being warned. When many people started to get infected, the gay community reacted with starting up food banks and support systems for the people infected. This showed people how strong and unified the gay community was. The stories and memories told by these people were a fascinating look into how lived through such an epidemic. Eileen was the only woman interviewed in the film. She was involved in starting up a women’s clinic during the time where abortions were considered illegal. She was a nurse so she saw first hand what people with HIV and AIDS were going through. None of her gay friends are alive today because of the disease. Paul left New York to come to San Francisco because he wanted to be “free” and saw himself as a “crazy dreamer”. He was very attracted to San Francisco because Guy was introduced as the flower guy in the Castro because he had a little flower shop on the street and he was the person to go to when you needed flowers. Guy recalled when he saw the obituaries section the newspaper expand because of the deaths caused the epidemic. Daniel attended San Francisco State University because he wanted to live in San Francisco and came out as a gay man after college. He had two boyfriends who passed away because of AIDS. Daniel himself also had AIDS. Ed felt like he did not fit into any of the cliques in the gay community; he was a little more shy and reserved. Ed was very active and involved in volunteering in clinics. He did not just want to sit there and watch this disease kill his friends. After hearing these stories I was just so shocked to hear that people experienced such devastating events. And they were so brave retelling such painful memories. I really enjoyed the film; it was beautifully made and respectful. Each person had a captivating story and it was really amazing to hear. The film taught me that life is full of unexpected events and life is about facing those events head on. Anything can happen at any time. No one anticipated for an epidemic like AIDS to harm the human race. No one could have predicted such a thing. People were taken aback from such an event but they also made many efforts in trying to find a cure. AIDS will not disappear over night but people have made a large effort to learn more from the disease. Hopefully, one day we will find a cure.

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