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We Were Here (2011)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 8.6/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

87

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 2,106

My Rating

Movie Info

We Were Here documents the coming of what was called the "Gay Plague" in the early 1980s. It illuminates the profound personal and community issues raised by the AIDS epidemic as well as the broad political and social upheavals it unleashed. It offers a cathartic validation for the generation that suffered through, and responded to, the onset of AIDS. It opens a window of understanding to those who have only the vaguest notions of what transpired in those years. It provides insight into what

Unrated,

Documentary

,

May 15, 2012

Independent Films - Official Site External Icon

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September 8, 2011:
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All Critics (41) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (0)

A simple, powerful act of bearing witness, We Were Here is a sober reminder of the not-too-distant past, when gays were focused not on honeymoon plans but on keeping people alive.

February 28, 2012 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] sober, devastating film about how we all - and some more than others - have to deal with the most unexpected horrors in our lives.

November 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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There's something profoundly inspirational about this portrait of a community coming together to battle prejudice and disease.

November 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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"We Were Here" pays eloquent homage to men and women who deserve to be celebrated and remembered as heroes.

October 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The most gripping war movie you'll see this year, We Were Here tells first-hand the story of how AIDS attacked San Francisco, killing more than 15,000. Whole peer groups were happy, healthy, and then dead in months.

September 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is both a testament to the fallen and a series of life lessons from five brave survivors, lessons about finding the best in ourselves in the worst of times.

September 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

We Were Here ultimately serves as a tribute -- not only to those who are no longer with us, but also to those who crossed the minefield and emerged as survivors, storytellers and heroes.

March 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

...cinematographer Marsha Kahm has done a stellar job of zeroing in on the disparate visages whether revelling in the joy of a long-forgotten moment with a former partner or letting tears of 'Why not me?' come into unabashed focus.

March 2, 2012 Full Review Source: JWR

...simple yet very intense, and if you have any interest in gay history, you won't want to miss it.

January 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Playback:stl
Playback:stl

Cathartic and bittersweet with moments of joy and humor. Weissman's movie is a rare gift.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Knight at the Movies
Knight at the Movies

an insular story, told by insiders, of a particular community - a community to which this reviewer happened to be connected ... invaluable as a reminder of how it felt to be helpless, to be thought lost, and yet prevail. They - we - did overcome.

December 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

...this is a work that chronicles the very beginnings of a disease that shook the world for decades.

December 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

...honors the fallen, the survivors and those who helped both by documenting the intensity and the many issues surrounding the maelstrom which was the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco

December 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

[It's] as much about survival as tragedy, and any statistics in it pale in comparison to the personal testimony of those telling the tale.

November 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Maintaining the perfect balance between the political and the personal, this is a documentary that will make you feel as well as think.

November 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Weissman documents the ingenuity, generosity and optimism of a community that fell victim to a horrible disease that, with astonishing speed, turned the world inside out.

November 25, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Even if, understandably, it's a little inward-looking (the ongoing disaster in Africa gets barely a mention), as a slice of social history, We Were Here takes an invigoratingly positive position on a very gloomy time.

November 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

An honest, frank and often moving documentary that deals with its difficult subject matter sensitively and compellingly.

November 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

A moving look behind the curtain of a rarely-explored community.

November 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Generosity, compassion, courage, determination, love and caring are the things that are emphasized in this film.

November 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

A very moving and heartfelt documentary that acts as an historical record for a time when the AIDS epidemic was a nightmare for the gay community.

November 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

I truly doubt that any thinking, feeling human could behold all the horrible loss and pain that this film chronicles and not be shaken to the core.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Audience Reviews for We Were Here

An important and engaging documentary about the unimaginable horrors of the early years of AIDS. Although I had head some of this before from older friends, it provided a much better, more complete account of a harrowing time. It is easy to forget the pain and fears of others, or just to know them in a detached academic way. We should never forget that an entire community dying was reality for some people.
November 27, 2013
cchclaw

Super Reviewer

"We Were Here" is a simple, yet powerfully effective documentary history of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco that creates a clear timeline of events, running from first rumors through effective treatment. This is told by a handful of survivors and eyewitnesses in their own words, recalling lost friends and loved ones, thus bringing such momentous events down to a deeply personal level. And the archival footage and photographs work well in tandem with this. Of particular interest is the valuable work of the lesbian community during the epidemic, previously a lesser partner in the larger gay community, rising to the occasion in more ways than one.(Correct me if I'm wrong but I think this was only glanced over in "And the Band Played On" by Randy Shilts.)
May 14, 2013
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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