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Buddies (1985)Buddies (1985)

Buddies (1985)

The first film to deal with the AIDS crisis, by those it affected

Drama, History, Romance

7.8

movie

United States, United States of America

English

Discussion-sparking, Dramatic, Thought-provoking

1985

Arthur J. Bressan Jr.

David Schachter, Geoff Edholm

81 min

Synopsis

David, a naive graduate student, has volunteered to work as a "buddy" for people dying of AIDS. Assigned to the intensely political Robert, a lifelong activist whose friends and family have abandoned him following his diagnosis, the two men, each with notably different world views, soon discover common bonds, as David's inner activist awakens and Robert's need for emotional release is fulfilled.

Our Take

7.8
Scott Wilson

Robert lies dying in hospital, an activist still raging against the lack of financial support and mainstream acknowledgment of the AIDS crisis. David volunteers to be his “buddy” while he’s bedbound, keeping him company and conversing. He’s less bothered by how the world treats homosexuality and AIDS, and although he commits to sticking by Robert, he’s doubtful of the need for his protests.

The film is firmly on Robert’s side, giving him space to shout and show frustration. What’s more, Buddies never treats sex as dirty or dangerous, allowing it to be something in which gay people find joy and solace, refusing to cast it as shameful. By the end of the decade, Geoff Edholm, who played Robert, and director Arthur J. Bressan Jr. had both lost their lives to the pandemic. It’s a snapshot of hospital rooms across the world, which were often hidden from sight, as a community was left to fend for itself, unsupported. David comes to understand.

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