We Were Here


We Were Here (2011)


Critic 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.


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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 (15)

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…

[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…
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…

"We Were Here" pays eloquent homage to men and women who deserve to be celebrated and remembered as heroes.

Oct 28, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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.

Sep 30, 2011 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

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.

Sep 30, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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.

Christian C
Christian C

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.)

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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