Screening Room

This anticipated AIDS-crisis film inspired critics to openly weep at Cannes

A recent screening of 120 Beats Per Minute at Cannes was met with a medley of open sobs, shellshocked silence, and ecstatic applause.

As New York reports, the third film by French director Robin Campillo takes on the culture war between Big Pharma and dying HIV-positive young men in 1990s Paris.

Related: “How To Survive A Plague,” And 9 Documentary Films To Commemorate World AIDS Day

Hailed as a benchmark in queer cinema, the film presents an usually candid depiction of the gay community, intimately depicting the sex lives of its main characters, and this only makes their subsequent rejection by society and the powers that be all the more devastating.

Campillo and his screenwriting partner Philippe Mangeot are both veterans of the ACT UP movement of two decades ago, and the film can be seen as a paean to the short, intense lives to the innumerable friends and lovers whom they lost to the disease.


You can read New York‘s excellent article on the film here.