Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Maybe it took somebody with no investment in the sexual-culture wars of the 1980s, like 24-year-old filmmaker Daryl Wein, to rediscover a lightning-rod figure like safe-sex pioneer Richard Berkowitz and present him without prejudice. A one-time S/M hustler, Berkowitz and his friend Michael Callen, supported by controversial AIDS researcher Joseph Sonnabend, began urging gay men to avoid unprotected sex as early as 1982 -- and were treated as pariahs by the mainstream gay community. Berkowitz is a fascinating, prickly, decidedly unsaintly character, and Wein's film provides a fascinating and crucial slice of traumatic sexual history that's all but invisible to younger generations. (Regent Releasing) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    100
    Superb new documentary.
  2. In his illuminating, timelessly timely Sex Positive documentary, Daryl Wein calls attention both to unjustly neglected pioneering AIDS activist Richard Berkowitz and his still widely ignored groundbreaking promotion of safe sex.
  3. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    70
    Daryl Wein's engrossing portrait of Richard Berkowitz is freshly engaging largely due to the subject himself.
  4. It helps that Wein's subject is such a fascinating, garrulous paradox.
  5. 63
    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.
  6. 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.
  7. Intermittently compelling biography.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of

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