Last night i was privileged to attend the premier of "We Were Here," at the Castro Theater. There was a swank VIP reception before hand and i got to meet Rufus Wainwright.
Before they open the theater for seating several people, including Dana (the executive director of Project Inform) and David Weissman (the Director), spoke about their time in San Francisco durring the height of the AIDS crisis. It struck me, maybe for the first time, that i am part of a legacy of service that stretches all the way back to Harvey Milk.
Rufus sang a couple of songs before the movie started. Including "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (the song we played at my dad's funeral... i knew at this point i was going to fall apart.)
WE WERE HERE (trailer) from David Weissman on Vimeo.
The movie it self is simply perfect. Funny, tender, and utterly heartbreaking. David has a gift for making you fall in love with his narrators, or maybe he just has an eye for narrators you can't help but fall in love with.
It's a story we've all heard before. The plague that struck us low just as we were coming into our own. The Invisible War that we fought with a mysterious enemy, while a whole nation (our nation) looked the other way. It's the story of our Holocaust, and it's been told before. But never this viscerally or honestly.
I broke down early and sobbed my way through the whole movie (and i'm not one for crying in public). I am humbled at the thought of the losses suffered and sacrifices made by the generations of gay men and women who came before me. I'm in awe of the services and support networks that they created out of whole cloth.
I kept looking at the smiling scruffy faces on the screen and i could help but think "this could be us, this could be my friends and family. And thats when i really lost my shit, because i don't know what i would do if i lost everyone. I don't think i'd be strong enough to go on.
We are so lucky.
I am so lucky.