BPM (Beats Per Minute)
I resisted selecting our next Rialto Recommends film as it didn't feel right in March to suggest watching this fine French film about the early days of the AIDS pandemic in Paris during the start of a new pandemic. But with time and positive steps forward, I think there is merit in watching BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE) as our next Rialto Recommends feature. In Paris in the early 1990s, a group of activists goes to battle for those stricken with HIV/AIDS, taking on sluggish government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies in bold, invasive actions. The organization is ACT UP, and its members, many of them gay and HIV-positive, embrace their mission with a literal life-or-death urgency. Amid rallies, protests, fierce debates and ecstatic dance parties, the newcomer Nathan falls in love with Sean, the group's radical firebrand, and their passion sparks against the shadow of mortality as the activists fight for a breakthrough. The Boston Globe said ""BPM" is an affecting memorial about being alive and being heard - a movie that says the only things that matter in life are love, righteous struggle, and the joy of being with others. It shakes all three until their atoms get up and dance." While Rolling Stone said "A wrenching love story, set in Paris in the early 1990s, told against the background of ACT-UP AIDS activists fighting for their lives. Ron Campillo's raw and riveting film musters the emotional power to floor you," the Sydney Morning Herald added "And yet BPM (meaning beats per minute) is a beautiful film, full of drama and humour, love and politics, argument and action." New York Magazine said "BPM is vital for the history it depicts, but it's also important in the here and now, as a testament to public action - even messy, not-always-effective public action." Check out BPM streaming on Hulu and Kanopy or available for a modest rental fee from Vudu, YouTube, Amazon and GooglePlay HERE.