Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt
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- "Then & Now" a new short film by Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman
- Photo gallery
- Vito Russo's ACT UP speech
Top Customer Reviews
The raw emotions of the storytellers are incredibly powerful in their purity and honesty; it's impossible not to be moved to tears as David Mandell's father speaks of his child's last Christmas, or Russo tells the story of visiting his partner's body in the morgue. The film footage is beautifully supported by Dustin Hoffman's eloquent narration (his voice has never been so convicted yet quietly subdued in any of his film roles), and hauntingly underscored by the music of Bobby McFerrin performed by Voicestra.Read more ›
The Times of Harvey Milk has probably topped this one, but the AIDS crisis has not gone away. Please ... please publish this one on DVD. Thanks.
Wanting to make a film that accompanied the amazing paneled quilt that was being created as a response to ignored AIDS epidemic. Epstein and Friedman decided to highlight the people behind the quilt. They read thousands of letters, met people, and selected seven stories to highlight, which make up the crux of the film. Sallie Perryman, who's husband drug use brought on the disease, to Vito Russo talking about his best friend, the people speak of their loved ones on film, and their ensuing sickness, with honesty and compassion. In addtion, the filmmakers included archival footage, tracing the development of the disease, in a somewhat shocking and insensitive way at first. By the time the quilt is unfolded, you are moved, and touched by these people's lives, so that if you didn't know anyone who was on the AIDS quilt, you knew seven people now.
Common Threads won the Academy award for best Documentary, and deservedly so. This a film that should be celebrated, and remembered, as a visual love note to all of those souls that we lost to AIDS.
Interspersed with the lives and deaths of these individuals is news footage that begins with the reports of the first cases of AIDS or GRID, as it was first called, in San Francisco and New York. The numbers of new cases and deaths grow geometrically for years while the government does precious little to fund research about this killer disease. In case anyone who was alive at the time has forgotten, President Reagan gets singled out for doing essentially nothing.
Included on the DVD are commentary by the producer/directors, the ACT-UP speech by Vito Russo and interviews with Doctors Marcus Conant and Selma Dritz and Cleve Jones, the person who started the AIDS guilt. of San Francisco. Dr. Dritz tells a horrific story of being at the bedside of an early victim when he died. When she contacted his parents somewhere in the heartland of America, they told her to do whatever she wanted to do with the body, that they essentially were through with their son.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Part of Gay history that will always haunt us but is not over. 1980's early 90's have a lot to teach us moving forward as a movement. A must see for today's young 20 something's.Published on July 17, 2013 by warren j rincavage
This is my all time favorite movie on the topic of HIV/AIDS. I have used this as a teaching tool for my nursing assistant students for the past 8 years. Read morePublished on February 22, 2013 by SpunkieNurse
Common Threads - Stories From The Quilt certainly deserves the Oscar it won for best documentary in the spring of 1990. Read morePublished on July 31, 2009 by Matthew G. Sherwin
Throughout much of the 1980s and 1990s a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS was both an immediate death sentence and social horror: most patients died in less than a year and their march to the... Read morePublished on April 1, 2009 by Gary F. Taylor
I am a health teacher who first saw this moving film right after it came out. Always seeking a way to help my students know the history behind this pandemic, this film remains a... Read morePublished on November 19, 2007 by Julie Andrews
This is a heartbreaking and amazing documentary. Do not neglect to watch the special features. Vito Russo's ACT UP Speech alone is worth the price of this dvd.Published on April 18, 2005 by aitapata