Independent Lens: We Were Here

About This Episode


We Were Here chronicles the arrival of what was then called the "Gay Plague" in San Francisco in the early 1980s. The documentary illuminates the profound personal and community issues raised by the AIDS epidemic, as well as the broad political and social upheavals it unleashed.

Five individuals had their lives changed when their beloved city changed from a hotbed of sexual freedom and social experimentation into the epicenter of a terrible and largely mysterious plague. From their different vantage points as caregivers, activists, researchers, friends and lovers of the afflicted, and as people with AIDS themselves, the five share stories that are not only intensely personal, but also shed light on the themes of that era: political and sexual complexities, the terrible emotional toll, and the role of women — particularly lesbians — in caring for and fighting for their gay brothers. Although AIDS decimated their community, it also brought people together in inspiring and moving ways to support and care for one another, and to fight for dignity and a cure.