Sex Positive (2009)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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.
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Critic Reviews for Sex Positive
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.
Daryl Wein calls attention both to unjustly neglected pioneering AIDS activist Richard Berkowitz and his still widely ignored groundbreaking promotion of safe sex.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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