We Were Here


We Were Here

Critics Consensus

We Were Here revisits the crises facing the gay community in the early 1980s -- and offers a powerful tribute to the inspiring resolve shown at a time of turmoil.



Total Count: 44


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,871
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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 society could, and should, offer its citizens in the way of medical care, social services, and community support. -- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for We Were Here

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (44)

  • 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.

    Feb 28, 2012 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 25, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 25, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Andrew Pulver

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

    Nov 24, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • [A] sober, devastating film about how we all - and some more than others - have to deal with the most unexpected horrors in our lives.

    Nov 22, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • There's something profoundly inspirational about this portrait of a community coming together to battle prejudice and disease.

    Nov 10, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for We Were Here

  • Nov 27, 2013
    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.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • May 14, 2013
    "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.)
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 30, 2011
    Devastating documentary chronicles the AIDS epidemic in the gay community from its beginnings in San Francisco. Plays out almost like a war doc, using personal stories to create a look at the front lines of the battle against AIDS with great reverence and dignity.
    Matthew L Super Reviewer

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