Larry Kramer In Love & Anger
From the onset of the AIDS epidemic, author Larry Kramer emerged as a fiery activist, an Old Testament-style prophet full of righteous fury who denounced both the willful inaction of the government and the refusal of the gay community to curb potentially risky behaviors. Co-founder of both the service organization Gay Men's Health Crisis and the direct action protest group ACT UP, Kramer was vilified by some who saw his criticism to be an expression of self-hatred, while lionized by others who credit him with waking up the gay community — and, eventually, the government and medical establishment — to the devastation of the disease.
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★★★★★ review by Gibnerd on Letterboxd
watching this fantastic doc & the many other ones that tell similar but all compelling stories, you get the impression that there were dozens of warriors out there like Larry Kramer who all probably have incredible life stories to be told. this is just one of the many that still and should shed light once again of the brave folks who bucked the system in order to convince the world that AIDS was something to care about. Kramer's story is especially interesting as he was and is a very outspoken, in your face activist who got his start in writing screenplays in Hollywood. Fascinating stuff & another brave doc from HBO Documentaries.
★★★½ review by Tatiana on Letterboxd
This should be a must watch for everyone.
★★★★ review by thatguygabriel on Letterboxd
The man who help change things.
Thank you Larry Kramer.
★★★★½ review by JulieC on Letterboxd
What an impressive, passionate, brave and inspirational man.
★★★½ review by Shaun Munro on Letterboxd
Jean Carlomusto's directorial debut is a rightly reverent and pleasantly concise look at the life and times of legendary AIDS activist Larry Kramer, wasting not a second of its 81-minute screen-time in capturing the essence of the man's fiery, inspirational spirit.
If it felt like David France's Oscar-nominated 2012 documentary How to Survive a Plague pretty much had the final word about the AIDS epidemic, Carlomusto finds wiggle room for herself by training her focus so specifically on Kramer the man as well as the forward-leaps he achieved in getting treatment to those who needed it most.
Though the older, weaker Kramer we witness in the near-present is finishing up a stint in hospital following a liver transplant, extensive use of archive footage nevertheless cements the man's tenacious dedication to his cause, unafraid of roaring loudly at those denying AIDS victims help, while also expressing disappointment in those gay men who refused to curb their care-free lifestyles even in the wake of sure oblivion.
From a brief yet fully-formed skip through Kramer's formative years to his brief foray into Hollywood - including an Oscar nomination for adapting D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love for Ken Russell's 1969 film - this doc gives his life context without swallowing up overly precious minutes of screen-time (especially in a film this short), acting as an easy lead-in to his best-admired and enduring life's work.
If ultimately something of a celebration of how far Kramer's work brought society - despite the hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths at the time - for those with a reaching interest in the crisis, it fits best as a companion piece to France's aforementioned film, each complimenting the other and examining a different side of the conflict with their own senses of scale.
While far from authoritative, this intimate, deeply felt doc sidesteps any and all accusations of hagiography because, simply, the man is worthy of so much more than a mere documentary film in his honour.
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