Home / Drama / BPM (Beats per Minute) (French with English subtitles)

BPM (Beats per Minute) (French with English subtitles)

This historically-based drama portrays the rise of ACT UP, the AIDS activist movement responsible for redefining the way activism is done, in France. Nathan is a new member to the group – HIV negative but eager to help mobilize the government and the pharmaceutical industry to expedite finding a cure and making experimental treatments available to those who have no other hope. He falls for Sean, HIV positive, one of the founders of the group who seems to be at odds with the direction the organization is going and has his own unique style of activism. There was a good film made about Act up earlier in this decade – How to Survive a Plague; BPM takes that story, contextualizes it to the situation in France, and overlays the personal stories of several of the members of the group (kind of a cross between How to Survive a Plague and Longtime Companion). The result is a deeply moving story about the personal impact of the AIDS crisis while telling the story of how the tactics of ACT UP ultimately impacted the response to the crisis. For me, the strongest part of the film is the portrayal of the ACT UP meetings, full of divergent opinions that fueled debates among the team members; it demonstrates how such differences of opinions among a group’s membership can fuel the success of organizations like ACT UP. The acting is wonderful, especially by the guy who plays Sean, and the soundtrack captures the early 1990’s well. Big thumbs up from me for a film that captures in a deeply emotional way an essential chapter in the history of the AIDS epidemic.

About Gary Burkholder

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