Sex Positive (2009)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Documentary filmmaker Daryl Wein explores the life and legacy of revolutionary gay S & M hustler-turned-AIDS activist Richard Berkowitz, whose noble efforts in promoting safe sex during the 1980s have been all but forgotten in the early years of the new millennium.

Rating: R (for strong sexual content including graphic dialogue and images, and for language)
Genre: Documentary, Gay & Lesbian, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Daryl Wein
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 15, 2010
Regent Releasing/here! Films - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Sex Positive

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (9)

Wein tackles an incredibly complex array of issues surrounding HIV, focusing largely on Berkowitz, once a nice young Jewish kid at Rutgers who found a lucrative career as an S&M hustler before becoming an activist and co-author.

Full Review… | July 3, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Daryl Wein calls attention both to unjustly neglected pioneering AIDS activist Richard Berkowitz and his still widely ignored groundbreaking promotion of safe sex.

Full Review… | June 19, 2009
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Wein clearly cares for his subject. Yet he leaves room for our admiration and our ambivalence. This is an achievement of heart and of mind.

Full Review… | June 19, 2009
Denver Post
Top Critic

For gays who remember the nightmare, Sex Positive may be too depressing to watch. But the movie strikes a cautionary tone for a younger generation that, it says, isn't taking the HIV threat seriously.

Full Review… | June 12, 2009
New York Post
Top Critic

The movie jolts you with the realization that the AIDS epidemic and the public debate about such issues have retreated so far under the news radar as to be half-forgotten.

June 12, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

Though he made an impact on thousands of lives -- or so, this intermittently compelling biography suggests -- AIDS activist Richard Berkowitz remains unknown and uncelebrated, alone and barely scraping by.

Full Review… | June 11, 2009
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Sex Positive

This woefully short doc, in essence, tells the story of the invention of safe sex and the split within the gay community over how HIV is transmitted. On that ground alone, Sex Positive is required viewing. The information presented and people profiled are as integral to American history as Washington, Lincoln, Franklin and King. Why? Because before they took a stand for what they believed, no one had heard of safe sex. Now that term is nearly ubiquitous throughout the world. The entire story of AIDS, from the first cases to the governments non-action to the activists to now, deserves more than 75 minutes to connect the people involved and document this important part of history. Good start, even with the somewhat lacking camera work and terrible jump cuts within interviews.

Jason Vargo
Jason Vargo

Super Reviewer

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