Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
Stealing a post from my friend Paul to explain what we saw last night part of “Reel Affirmations” HIV AIDS Film Festival:
Tonight’s film program was incredible. “Still Around” is unlike the films I am familiar with that deal with the subject of HIV/AIDS. It’s comprised of several shorts with different protagonists for each short. I love short form because it’s immediacy can be very moving, very funny and very powerful. Also because I have no attention span left, it’s helpful to keep things short and to the point (as it were).
For me, several stories involved people I know. Some I know well and some I know because SF is a small town. It’s not easy to see my friends having to suffer and thankfully, this film really focuses on other aspects of the pandemic. One story in particular involved a man who has undergone severe reconstructive surgery and I was taken by surprise to see him in this film. I can’t disclose, of course, but what he’s gone through, nobody should have to endure and sadly, he has disappeared from my immediate circle. It was very difficult to watch him and to know that he might not be in very good shape. I hope he is alright.
We were particularly lucky to have some of the people in the film in the audience and also for the Q & A.
All the films were beautiful, each one distinct in it’s composition and point of view, so it was a very rich program.
One film held a special place for me in the program because it was made by my friend Ian Wolfley. His film, “Paws” was a poignant and touching portrait of the healing power of our wonderful pets and how they serve as a way to bring people into our lives in an unexpected and powerful way.
As if none of that were enough, I had with me the unsinkable Andy Kopsa Dalal ;”The Kathy Griffin of Investigative Journalism” and Jay Dwyer who has been an amazing and inspiring companion and mentor to me on this amazing trip.