A shimmering mind that illuminated my view from the crack in the closet door.
Brave, sweet and compassionate- come back any time, Vito.
If a film can take you on a journey, especially one of discovery then it is doing its job. And VITO takes its audience on just such a journey. We gain insight into the life of a gay activist which is not overly stunning but we see his journey during the most revolutionary time in the history of gay activism. To be a part of such a movement, particularly on the ground floor as things are just getting started would have to be exhilarating.
One thing that never ceases to amaze me are the struggles a gay person goes through and this film not only shows Vito's personal struggles but those that the entire gay community endured. Being gay in a world that doesn't accept you, one in which many would prefer you dead. Fighting for and earning basic human rights that others already enjoy. Then after much blood and many tears, after finally gaining a foothold in your world, being struck with the deadliest disease a community has known. AIDS was an unknown epidemic but was also a scourge to the gay community. To fight so hard and so valiantly for your cause and then be struck with an unknown killer, one which took many of your leaders. How brutal can a struggle be for people? Another eye opening moment for me was the struggle the earliest gay activists had amongst themselves, the factions that arose within the gay community. As a non gay male I don't often think of the gay community on those terms but after watching VITO I realize that I must.
The final striking thing about VITO is just how full a man's life can be. Here was a man who died in his early 40's, yet his life was more full and will be remembered by more than most people could ever dream. Family and friends, causes and achievements, a life full of accomplishment. And to think, I had never heard of the film THE CELLULOID CLOSET. Well at least now I have another film to watch!