N Paris in the 1990s, a group of AIDS activists (the Paris chapter of ACT UP) plans regular meetings to set up demonstrations and protests - mainly against drug companies. Two members of the group become involved in a romance: Sean (Nahual Perez Biscayart), a long-time activist who is HIV-positive; and Nathan (Arnaud Valois), an activist newcomer who is HIV-negative.
"BPM" lacks a full historical context as to why ACT UP is so angry against the drug companies among other institutions and individuals. While the urgency is understandable for those living with AIDS, there is no perspective given to drug companies on why they and their representatives are so despised. They (of the drug companies) are given too little exposure for the viewer to understand their perspective. Perhaps a scenario of annoying bureaucracy would have been helpful. During that tragic time period, there was a lot of indifference, denial, and prejudice about AIDS. This is not reflected well enough in the film. Instead, the drug company reps look innocent while some of the ACT UP activists come off as violent and harsh. This should not have been the case.
But the movie truly shines in the relationship between Sean and Nathan. Both actors do a great job especially Perez Biscayart who shows a strong range as Sean's physical condition gradually deteriorates. The film also excels in a particularly moving death scene. It is very realistic as those grieving share a collective silence and awkwardness among each other. This scene easily reminds viewers of the various losses in our own pasts.
Despite the film's flaws, its assets make it a touching experience.
Drama / History
Drama / History
Early 1990s. With AIDS having already claimed countless lives for nearly ten years, Act up-Paris activists multiply actions to fight general indifference. Nathan, a newcomer to the group, has his world shaken up by Sean, a radical militant, who throws his last bits of strength into the struggle.
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June 21, 2018 at 08:01 AM