Digitally restored and now available for a new audience to discover, Buddies was the first feature-length drama about AIDS when it was released in 1985.
When 25 year-old David volunteers to be a “buddy” to an AIDS patient, the gay community centre assigns him to Robert, a 32 year-old politically impassioned gay California gardener abandoned by his friends and lovers. Revolving around the confines of Robert’s Manhattan hospital room, Director Arthur J. Bressan skilfully unfolds this devastating two-hander. As David gazes out at the piers and rooftops of Manhattan, we hear his deftly scripted diary entries in voiceover. And as David is changed by knowing Robert, so too are we. In the simplicity of the story and the elegance of its unfolding, Buddies achieves a rare perfection. It’s a timeless portrayal of an entire era in gay history.
Before Buddies we'll also be playing two locally produced non-fiction shorts from West Yorkshire Queer Stories.
James' Letters & Coming Out (9mins)
James appeared as a ‘gay teenager’ in a 1988 BBC2 documentary, receiving letters of support – and criticism – as a result. A few years later, in a difficult conversation with his family, he made the decision to come out as HIV-positive.
AIDS and the Deaf Community (5mins)
Howard describes the lack of information and support deaf gay men received when the impact of AIDS started to be felt in the 1980s, and how it affected a friend of his who was deaf and HIV-positive.
Following the film, Andi Walker will say a few words about the work of PACT (Positive And Confident Together) – a Leeds-based group who provide peer support for gay/bi HIV-positive men in the city. For more about the work of PACT, visit the BHA website.
Showing as part of LGBTQ History Month
Docs & Artists' Moving Image
at 42 New Briggate