A Powerful Movie that Tugs at the Heart
Every once in a while a movie comes along that reaches out to you and takes you back to a time, as if you're actually reliving it. That movie for me is The Normal Heart on HBO, directed by Ryan Murphy. I would say that even though I'm a fan of Glee, mostly because of the music, this movie is Murphy's best work to date.
I expect that some of the actors, Mark Ruffalo, Julie Roberts and Jim Parsons, will win an Emmy for their performance, or at least they should. The movie begins in 1981 on Fire Island. The characters, the clothes and the music made me feel that I was actually there. Plus, 1981 is the year I began the coming out process, so it really hit home for me. While watching the movie I realized how little I knew at the time about the disease, and how little the Mayor of New York and President Reagen's administration did to help the situation. It wasn't until 1987 that President Reagen even said the word "AIDS." At that point there were 37,000 Americans diagnosed with the disease, and 21,000 Americans had already died.
It's a sad film to watch, especially since my first partner Mike, who died in 2002, was HIV-Positive. But I hope everyone, especially the younger generation, gay or straight, will watch this movie and learn from it.