In the age of AIDS, film and video became one of the principal means for grief-stricken activists and artists to bear witness and make sense of the epidemic and the loss of their lovers and friends. This Moving Image Review comprises short texts that provide an overview of the films and videos that were produced and that have subsequently been appropriated and reworked by contemporary filmmakers for a variety of purposes. In re-viewing these works from a distance, the authors revise old assumptions about the nature of these films and videos and the people and the activist movement that they depict. Roger Hallas provides a counterpoint to this examination by acknowledging the importance of the film “archive” created by less recognizable independent and experimental queer filmmakers. Jim Hubbard, seeking to articulate the different strategies and aesthetic of AIDS activist video as opposed to film, finds some surprising similarities. Debra Levine, reviewing preserved tapes of ACT UP demonstrations and placing these alongside the more recently produced ACT UP oral history videos, concludes that participants in the demonstrations were driven by a compulsion to demonstrate kindness and care toward their fellow ACT UP members as much as they were motivated by anger (as their acts are commonly interpreted). And Paul Sendziuk offers a reassessment of Philadelphia, Hollywood's first big-budget film to address the topic of AIDS and homosexuality, arguing for the need to understand the historical circumstance of its production and its intended mainstream audience.

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