Castro Street in San Francisco, 1984. Photo by Robert Pruzan
We Were Here
Sundance Film Festival
Director: David Weissman
In the early ‘80s an epidemic with no name was sweeping through the gay community of San Francisco. Often called the gay cancer, eventually the disease was identified as AIDS and claimed 15,548 San Franciscans—many of them young, sexually active gay males. "We Were Here" weaves together archival footage and present-day interviews with five individuals who lived through the epidemic to create a very heavy film. "We Were Here" looks at the community through a microscope, illuminating not only how the AIDS tragedy affected lives, but also how community members were able to mobilize to force new research and advancements in treating the disease. Although the focus is narrow, the story is ultimately a universal one—dealing with loss, recovery and the strength that people find in one another when faced with incredible odds.